A BELGIAN “Santa Claus” arrived yesterday at the Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC) with more than 300 items of hospital equipment.

CCMC hospital administrator Kenneth Siasar told Sun.Star Cebu that Patrick Haghedooren, a philanthropist, has given the best Christmas present to the Cebuanos.

“We will be using this for the existing hospital. Actually, we are in need of 30 hospital beds and now our prayer has been answered. This is a great Christmas gift not only to the hospital but to all Cebuano patients,” he said.

Siasar said Haghedooren learned about the hospital’s needs through a CCMC resident doctor.

Haghedooren brought with him the medical equipment all the way from Belgium, at his own expense.

The equipment given to CCMC are 28 electronic beds, 45 hospital mattresses, 53 hospital fireproof doors and 21 folding bedside cabinets.

It also includes 149 items of medical clothing, 20 electronic blood extraction chairs used for blood transfusion and 21 assorted equipment such as wheelchairs, weighing scales and cardiac bicycles.

“So far, this is the biggest donation we’ve received since I assumed office last July. This is also right in time for the filing of our application for an increased bed capacity. Last Friday, I went to Manila to apply (to the Department of Health) for a 150-bed capacity,” Siasar said.

With the 28 beds given by Haghedooren, the hospital administrator said CCMC will no longer need to purchase additional hospital beds.

This is not the first time that the Belgian national donated hospital equipment in Cebu at his own expense.

Haghedooren, founder of the non-government organization Solidareteit Southern Leyte, sent relief materials to northern Cebu and Leyte when they were hit by a calamity.

On Oct. 23 last year, the philanthropist went to San Francisco, Camotes with a 40-foot cargo container full of donations intended for the different sitios.

The cargo included 13 hospital beds with mattresses, 12 wheelchairs, nine walkers, other hospital items and 30 water tanks.

Some of the beds, wheelchairs and walkers were distributed to the needy residents.

The others were turned over to Ricardo Maningo Memorial Hospital, a district hospital in the town, on Nov. 3 last year.

Hagherdooren visited the island again in February this year and gave beds, examination tables, chairs, wheelchairs, pillows, rescue beds, crutches, walkers, iron nurses, baby beds and delivery tables.