Hospital for mentally ill soon to rise in Eastern Visayas-A A +A
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
PALO, Leyte -- Concerned with the growing number of mentally ill persons, the Regional Development Council (RDC) endorsed last week the proposal to establish a regional mental health center in Eastern Visayas.
Department of Health (DOH) Regional Director Jaime Bernadas said they are still preparing for a feasibility study on the project but initial plan is to put up the facility in the abandoned property of the department in Barangay Cabalawan, Tacloban City.
“Pending the completion of detailed plan, we already sought the endorsement of RDC since we have been seeking this project for years,” Bernadas said in an interview after the project presentation by social development committee (SDC) chairman and Department of Science and Technology Regional Director Edgardo Esperancilla.
The health department is conducting an inventory to determine the number of mentally ill persons in the region and list of equipments that will be acquired.
“Even without figures, the increasing number of mentally ill and psychotic vagrants roaming in Tacloban City is prevalent,” Bernadas added.
The official said the project will entail a huge investment. The project was tackled as early as 2002 but was not realized due to budget constraints.
“The DOH, nevertheless, partly responded to the SDC resolution by establishing the Acute Crisis Intervention Services (ACIS) located at the Schistosomiasis Control and Research Hospital in Palo, Leyte,” the SDC said in statement.
The ACIS facility has been in operation since April 2003 but its services is limited only to patients with schistosomiasis–related behavioral disorders with only 10 bed capacity.
The SDC resolution pointed out that treatment of persons with mental health problems will eradicate public threat since some of the patients have violent streaks.
The proposed facility will also be used as venue for curriculum-required training on psychiatry wherein students normally go to Cebu to secure trainings.
Bernadas admitted that the provision of mental health services in the country has remained illness-oriented, institution-based, fragmented, inadequate, inequitable, inaccessible, prohibitive, and neglected mainly due to limited resources.
Nationwide, the current DOH bed capacity for mental disorder nationwide is 5,465. Of these, 4,200 beds are in the National Center for Mental Health in Manila. The rest of the country shares the remaining bed capacity. (Leyte Samar Daily Express)