TO BE able to immediately attend to ailing inmates, the Capitol is set to open a health care unit inside the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC).
Dr. Rene Catan, head of the Provincial Health Office (PHO), said they have a P6-million budget for the rehabilitation of the clinic, which will soon be operated as a primary health care unit of the CPDRC.
“We will have separate rooms and laboratories with equipment to address the health issues of the inmates… It used to be just a clinic but when we rehabilitate it, we will put 10 rooms there,” he said.
There will also be doctors and nurses reporting on three shifts.
In an interview yesterday, Catan said the state of the health care inside the CPDRC is the same as that of other Province-run hospitals, some of which still need to be upgraded.
“Whatever you’re seeing at the provincial jail, we have the same problems in our hospitals at present,” he said.
Catan said that lawyer Mark Tolentino, the provincial administrator, wants the provincial jail to be the 17th hospital of the province.
When asked about the time frame of the project, Catan said it will be implemented as soon as possible.
With regards to the congestion at the CPDRC, Provincial Engineer Hector Jamora said they have another P6-million budget for the construction of 20 more cells to accommodate the inmates.
Meanwhile, Catan said the Province plans to build a medical center in the province in three years’ time to expand its medical services. Having a medical center here, he said, will also encourage medical practitioners to remain in the country for work rather than going abroad.
Catan said the PHO will identify which of the district hospitals can be upgraded into level two hospitals.
“But the problem is the 50-bed design requirement, so the plan now is to really build a new hospital,” he said.
He clarified, though, that this will remain a plan until they are given a budget.
“This is not going to be cheap. It will cost billions,” he said. Camille L. Pateres, USJ-R Intern