THE only specialty government hospital for maternal and child health care services in Central Visayas was awarded last week an International Organization for Standardization (ISO) certification. This means the hospital has a “globally competitive” health care facility to serve the 415,000 urban poor in Cebu City, hospital officials said.
Saint Anthony Mother and Child Hospital (SAMCH), a 25-bed hospital in Barangay San Nicolas in Cebu City received ISO 9001:2008 from certifying body TUV SUD PSB Philippines Inc.
SAMCH chief of hospital II Dr. Robert Denopol said it is the only specialty hospital for maternity and pediatric care that has received such distinction. “When you say you are ISO-certified, it means you are world-class, globally competent,” he said.
SAMCH’s plans for certification started in 2012 when the hospital got a mandate from the Department of Health to create an ISO core team, said quality management representative lead auditor and chief nursing officer Dr. Rosenie S. Coronado. It was in late 2013, however, when the hospital started to officially plan for the certification, added Denopol.
To extend the hospital’s reach, Denopol said SAMCH is planning to add 100 more hospital beds. A three-level building is currently being constructed to house them.
With the temporary absence of the Cebu City Medical Center and the closure of Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center’s Obstetrics and Gynecology, Denopol said number of patients in SAMCH has significantly increased. There are 13 doctors and 40 nurses to serve the increasing number of patients.
“This means we need to add more people (doctors and health workers) once we go for the expansion,” Denopol said.
SAMCH founder and former congressman Antonio Cuenco said he will lobby to the “next president” to increase the funding for the hospital.
“I will advise the next president to double the budget of SAMCH,” Cuenco said. For this year, the hospital gets P27 million funding.
Cuenco pushed for the establishment of SAMCH, which served as VSMMC’s extension hospital in 1991. It was a P10-million facility, with funds sourced from Cuenco’s priority development assistance fund. Three years later, in 1994, it became an independent specialty hospital to serve the urban poor of the south district of Cebu and its neighboring municipalities.
The recently-awarded ISO certification is valid until March 11, 2018, said TUV SUD Visayas account consultant Faith P. Lumaban. With the certification, Coronado said the hospital will be monitoring client satisfaction survey feedback to ensure SAMCH patients’ safety and satisfaction.