THE Eversley Childs Sanitarium Hospital in Mandaue City may soon be able to serve more patients.

A bill increasing the public hospital's capacity from 50 to 100 beds got the nod of the House Committe on Health last Tuesday.

The measure, which Rep. Gabriel Luis Quisumbing (Cebu, sixth district) refiled in the 16th Congress, has been endorsed by the Department of Health (DOH).

The 15th Congress passed the bill but it was vetoed or opposed by President Benigno Aquino III because of a plan to transfer the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) in a lot near the Eversley Childs Sanitarium Hospital in Barangay Jagobiao.

Health Sec. Janette Garin endorsed the bill in a position paper last April, saying DOH has decided not to push through with the plan to transfer the VSMMC.

She pointed out that the proposed lot is now occupied by a food manufacturing firm.

Quisumbing said the Eversley Childs Sanitarium Hospital should be upgraded because of the increasing demand for accessible health care.

"We have to underscore the need to upgrade hospitals in our district to address the effective delivery of medical services to the increasing and dynamic population in our district," he said in a statement.

The hospital, established in 1930 as a treatment center for persons afflicted with leprosy, became a general hospital in 2005.

Last year, it became the first general hospital administered by the Department of Health to get an ISO (International Organization for Standardization) certificate.

In an earlier interview, Dr. Lope Ma. Carabaña, hospital chief, said that although the hospital is only a 50-bed facility, it accommodates more than 100 patients.

The facility hosts the Multi-Drug Resistant Tuberculosis Treatment Center and the Cebu Treatment and Rehabilitation Center.

The hospital is celebrating its 85th founding anniversary.

Hospital officials said they plan to establish a dialysis center, a newborn screening laboratory and a center for women and children.