STA RITA-- Families of patients expressed “disappointment” over the issue of mismanagement of the present leadership of a provincial hospital here.

Leonida Alviz, a resident of Dila-dila, alleged that Dr. Benjamin Arboleda, chief of the Diosdado P. Macapagal Memorial Hospital (DPMMH), “notoriously mismanaged” the hospital in terms of the delivery of health services, provision, and maintenance of basic hospital equipment.

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Alviz said several complaints have been lodged in its administrative office, which Arboleda allegedly did not favorably act upon.

But Arboleda told Sun.Star Pampanga in a phone interview that the hospital is not mismanaged at all and measures are being taken to address the concerns of patients and their families.


According to a reliable source who refused to be identified, Arboleda ordered the closure of the hospital’s main gate, including two other gates near the emergency room (ER) and the out patient department (OPD) to solve the traffic problem in the area.

The source claimed that this move does not benefit the patients, but rather compromises patients' welfare in some serious and emergency cases because they were instead asked to use a gate far from the ER and OPD.

Arboleda, for his part, said the closure of the gates is just temporary until traffic in the area is resolved.

He said a tricycle terminal there is blocking the frontage of the hospital, which causes the inconvenience.

Arboleda also said that he has referred the issue and the concerns to Governor Lilia Pineda.

Laboratory equipment

Sun.Star Pampanga learned that DPMMH procured an X-ray machine early in 2009 that has not been used yet until now. The supplier of the equipment allegedly refused to install the x-ray machine in the laboratory as its construction did not follow minimum requirements and standards.

“Hindi mailagay ang x-ray machine, wala kasi sa tamang sukat ang ginawang laboratory para dito,” one of the hospital personnel said.

The source also disclosed that construction works at DPMMH is allegedly being constructed based on the “whims” of the previous and current chiefs of the hospital without a master plan.

The source added that the DPMMH was constructed based on a “district” hospital set-up only, despite the millions of funds spent for the construction.

The source disclosed that the hospital has no drainage canal resulting to perennial flooding during the rainy season. Majority of the air-conditioning units are also misplaced along the hospital lobby, triggering high temperature and resulting to more inconvenience to patients, personnel, and visitors.

The personnel disclosed that Arboleda has allegedly directly coordinated with the contractor of the hospital construction and with a certain Engineer Castro of the Department of Health (DOH).

With the absence of a master plan, many doubted the integrity and strength of the hospital building.

When the personnel asked Arboleda about the construction, he allegedly told them that he has no obligation explaining the details of the construction. However, Arboleda told Sun.Star Pampanga that he had nothing to do with the construction master plan, and is hands-off on the issue because it is a DOH-mandated project.

He added that it was not him who approved the alleged sub-standard x-ray laboratory.

It was also revealed that several personnel and even doctors are being re-assigned in other departments without prior notice and consultation.

“Inilipat din nila ang quarters ng mga doctor, binuksan nila ang mga cabinet ng walang pasabi man lang, the source lamented.

On this concern, Arboleda refused to make comments or issue statements.

It can be recalled that DPMMH has been dragged into controversy last year when it bought seven fax machines, several photocopying machines, 17 personal computers and laptops rather than using the funds for the purchase of basic hospital equipment to serve the patients better. (Herbert P. Mapiles)