BOTH the City Government and management of the Riverside Medical Center Inc. signed Monday memorandum of agreement (MOA) for the conversion of the City Health Center (CHO) into a Lying-in and Birthing Home Center.

The signing was held at the City Mayor’s Ceremonial Hall at the New Government Center. Dr. Hector Torre, RMCI president and chairman of the board represented the hospital’s management for the MOA signing.

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Mayor Evelio Leonardia said the health center anew will provide basic health services for the people of Bacolod.

The center, Leonardia said will help decongest the Western Visayas Regional Hospital “which would also mean improvement of the regional hospital.”

Also, the center will serve as venue for training centers of the nurses, added Leonardia.

On the other hand, Torre said the management’s tie-up with the city was two years in planning.

He noted that due to lack of health care facility, Bacolod has posted an increase in both morbidity and mortality rates from home deliveries of at least 27 percent.

“We should act in order to reduce these cases” said Torre.

RMCI has committed to build an initial of 30-beds in the center and hoped to increase it to 50 in the coming years.

Torre said, as part of its commitment, they would also provide hospital beds, lights, and air-conditioning to rooms that are considered functional already.

On one hand, the City Government will run the center in terms of personnel while RMCI will supervise be for the supervision of the center.

Also, RMCI will renovate the CHO building as P10-million budget, especially for the construction of the city’s 900-square-meter lying-in center.

Further, the MOA also stated that the center’s services should exclusively be for the training of the students of the Riverside College Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of the RMCI especially in manning the center.

Torre said since the CHO is Philhealth accredited, the Philhealth is going to pay P4,500 to City Government, and of this amount, P2,500 will be for the doctor’s fee, and the remaining will go to the city solely for the personnel.

He said if the student doesn’t have a Philhealth, each student or the Riverside College would pay P P500.

“This will be an income generating for the City Government” said Leonardia.

Torre said they also had similar project development in cities of Cadiz and Sagay.

“We believed that the corporation cannot just do the business without giving back to the people” Torre said.

Leonardia said this project development was meant for the people of Bacolod “a dream come true and this is private sector-government partnership as its best.”

He also encouraged the people to avail of Philhealth cards so when the center becomes operational in May, they can already avail of the services.