Published by the Visayan Daily Star
Editor-in-Chief & President
Bureau Chief, Dumaguete
MAJA P. DELY
|CARLOS ANTONIO L. LEONARDIA
The generally dire situation of our government hospitals may have been temporarily forgotten with the news of the new buildings, improvements, and upgrades that have recently blessed many government health facilities. One such news that made many Negrenses think that the situation had greatly improved might have been the opening of the new and modern wing of the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital.
However, unfortunately for many of the poor Filipinos who depend on government hospitals, the situation on the ground hasn't changed much.
Our government hospitals may have improved in terms of capability and capacity, but they remain heavily congested during normal days and this perpetual state of congestion makes those facilities pitifully unprepared for sudden public health emergencies or outbreaks such as the one that hit Bacolod's Barangay Handumanan last Saturday.
The CLMMRH is supposed to be the premier government hospital in the region but the number of patients it regularly accommodates already exceeds its 400-bed capacity. The sudden influx of more than 100 patients from Handumanan who were admitted for acute gastroenteritis with moderate to severe dehydration easily overwhelmed the already overloaded the hospital. When this happens, the quality of service and its resources will definitely be affected. Another detrimental effect would be the increase of infection rate among patients.
Officials of the CLMMRH are asking Bacolod City and the provincial government to do their share in helping decongest the hospital. Aside from CLMMRH, there is the Teresita L. Jalandoni Provincial Hospital in Silay City and 11 district hospitals in the province. Bacolod City has 29 health centers but no city hospital. Increasing the number, capacity and capabilities of the provincial and district hospitals, and the establishment of a Bacolod City Hospital should relieve the load on the CLMMRH and improve the delivery of health services, not only in Bacolod City but the entire Negros Island Region.
Are our government officials in a position to help relieve the pressure on the CLMMRH and our struggling public health system in general? Only time will tell.*