AS PART of his thrust to deliver quality healthcare to the poor, Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. led the inauguration of Aleosan District Hospital’s upgraded medical facilities on Tuesday.

The renovation that costs P11.1 million covers the hospital’s out-patient department, administration building, and ward complex.

The budget used is part of the governor’s P25 million appropriation for the hospital as mandated in the P200-million Supplemental Budget 3-A passed two years ago.

During his first term of service as governor in 1992, Defensor recalled that the hospital, benefiting the residents of Alimodian, San Miguel, Leon and part of Oton, is among the most dilapidated hospitals in the province.

“Probably because we do not have the resources, we suffered from financial and budgetary constraints. Sad to say, I think we have failed at that time,” he said, referring to the poor condition of the hospital’s infrastructure and services.

But when he returned in 2010, Defensor stressed that it gave him the opportunity to meet the old challenge.

“…so I embark on a very ambitious program that will entail a substantial amount of money up to the extent that we have to borrow money. I also [went] out of my way to convince, even foreign countries, to help us in this regard,” he said.

“Now, all of the 12 province-owned hospitals, including this, is undergoing a massive repair, rehabilitation and upgrading so that before we left, we can say that ‘we have done our job’,” he added.

All this development is in line with Defensor’s Hospital Efficiency Assurance through Reform and Transformation (Heart), which is also supported by the Department of Health (DOH).

Heart has a budget of P500 million solely for the repair, upgrading and renovation of the 11 district hospitals and one provincial hospital in Pototan. Of the budget, P300 million of which is a 25-year loan from Land Bank of the Philippines.

Fortunately, Iloilo also secured US$7 million (P300 million) from Korean International Cooperation Agency (Koica) for the development of three remote hospitals -- Aleosan District Hospital, Ricardo S. Provido Memorial District Hospital in Calinog and Jesus Colmenares Memorial District Hospital in Balasan.

The DOH is also allocating P600 million for the province as part of their regular hospital enhancement program.

“I have done my best and all of this is for our less privileged fellows who direly need the government’s support,” Defensor said.

Meanwhile, the remaining P13.8 million for Aleosan District Hospital will be used to construct the cadaver holding area, waste holding area and material recovery facility, maintenance building, men’s quarters, supply room, doctor’s quarters, nurses dorm septic tanks for wards, sprinkler system, completion of covered walkways and facade and laundry area. (PR)