A GROUP is prioritizing the creation of Samar Island Medical Center in Eastern Visayas to “further serve” the healthcare needs in the three Samar provinces.
“The greater burden of Eastern Visayas is the unavailability of adequate hospitals, particularly for its poor patients,” said Jude Acidre, the second nominee of Tingog party-list.
Acidre said the region has only two nationally-funded hospitals: Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center (EVRMC) in Tacloban City and Schistosomiasis Hospital and Research Center in Palo, Leyte.
These two national hospitals are not enough to serve the region’s over four million population, Acidre added.
“Region VI (Western Visayas) has four nationally-funded hospitals and Region VII (Central Visayas) has six, while in Region VIII (Eastern Visayas), we only have two,” Acidre said.
“It is imperative that Samar Island gets its own tertiary, level 3 hospital to cater to the healthcare needs of the people in the area and free them from the inconvenience of traveling even for hours just to be admitted to EVRMC in Tacloban,” said Acidre in a statement.
Samar Island is composed of Samar, Northern Samar, and Eastern Samar provinces, with a combined population of more than 1.8 million people.
According to Acidre, they will establish the Samar Island Medical Center in an area proximate to Catarman, Northern Samar and Calbayog City in Samar.
Meanwhile, Acidre said the opening of Samar Island Medical Center will “complement” the passage of Universal Healthcare Act.
“With the building of a new hospital, the Universal Healthcare Act signed by President Rodrigo Duterte will now have the right machine. What will be the use of PhilHealth coverage and free hospitalization if the patients don’t have an accessible hospital during an emergency situation,” said Acidre.
“The establishment of this hospital will also decongest EVRMC,” he said.
“We will work hard not only to upgrade the bed capacity of EVRMC but to also transform it into a multi-specialty tertiary hospital serving as an apex hospital for the eastern part of the country,” Acidre said.
Acidre said they will also improve the hospitals under the local governments in Eastern Visayas.
Earlier, Leyte First District Representative Yedda Romualdez, who served as Tingog first nominee, pushed for the upgrading of the bed capacity of EVRMC from 500 to 1,500 and the renaming of the hospital into Eastern Visayas Medical Center. (SunStar Philippines)