SELLING the Cebu City Medical Center (CMC) is a proposal that former mayor and now Rep. Tomas Osmeña has been selling and which the public has never bought. No wonder one of his loyalists, Councilor Jose “Joey” Daluz III, is mouthing it even if Mayor Michael Rama is against it.

Selling CCMC is an easy way out of the facility’s current predicament-–which is another way of saying it is a product of a mind already bankrupt with ideas on how to solve the problem of the hospital within the present setup.

Updates on President Benigno Aquino III's presidency

But that is not only what makes the proposal objectionable.

Returning Councilor Ronald Cuenco, now the chairman of the council’s committee on hospital services, health and sanitation, has thankfully understood it better than Daluz: privatization would deprive many of the poor of access to the facility.


Actually, Rama hit the right track on CCMC as early as when he was still vice mayor and Osmeña tried to ease worries over his “hospital for sale” tack by asking him (vice mayor) to look into the problem.

While management woes still hound CCMC, though on a less controversy-ridden extent, at least there are efforts to improve the physical look of the hospital, the one very visible proof of neglect.

Sometimes, physical makeovers have an effect on the psychological; these can spark positive changes in the way hospital administrators work.

Rama’s earlier efforts in this direction, however, were hampered by the lack of support from the then mayor, a problem that will no longer surface now that Mike is at the City Hall’s helm.

It’s possible that the physical makeover of CCMC will be all-out because even Cuenco has acknowledged that there are structures in the facility “that need rehabilitation.”


As for the administration aspect, moves to solve the problem have been hit-and-miss (or should we say, more of misses), which is not surprising, considering the magnitude of the mess and the resources needed to make the solutions work.

It has been a chicken-and-egg thing: should City Hall purge the CCMC management before providing it with a bigger budget, or should the budget be increased so lack of resources won’t hamper efforts to improve the facility’s management?

Whatever the Rama administration will eventually do, the city’s poor constituents can cling to the mayor’s determination not to follow the Osmeña line, summed up by his “selling the CCMC is not in my vocabulary” statement.