By Jezza A. Nepomoceno
ILOILO — The provincial government will resolve the looming personnel gap in its 12 district hospitals by hiring 593 additional medical staff this year.
The massive hiring is made possible after Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. got the approval of P66-million budget for the salary of new job hires and contract of service.
The budget, which is incorporated in P355.5-million Supplemental Budget No. 2-A, was approved during the 20th regular session of the 11th Sangguniang Panlalawigan on May 24.
Of the 593 medical staff needed, 217 are nurses and 34 are doctors.
“By addressing the personnel gap, the hospitals will be fully compliant with the licensing requirements of Department of Health for Level 1 hospitals,” Banias explained.
Once the vacancy is filled, four of the 12 district hospitals can upgrade their authorized bed capacity from 50 to 75 beds.
These are Aleosan District Hospital in Alimodian, Rep. Pedro Trono Memorial District Hospital in Guimbal, Ramon Duremdes District Hospital in Dumangas, Sara District Hospital in Sara and Ramon Tabiana Memorial District Hospital in Cabatuan.
Four hospitals will also double their bed capacity from 25 to 5o beds. These are Dr. Ricardo Provido Sr. Memorial District Hospital in Calinog, Don Valerio Palmares Memorial District Hospital in Passi City, Jesus Colmenares District Hospital in Balasan and Federico Roman Tirador Sr. Memorial District Hospital in Janiuay.
Barotac Viejo District Hospital, on the other hand, will increase its bed capacity from 10 to 25 beds.
Banias clarified that the hiring of new medical staff is not equitably distributed but based on the actual needs of each of the hospital.
Meanwhile, Defensor also appropriated P50-million for the procurement of drugs and medicines for the pharmacies inside the hospitals.
“The governor wants our pharmacies to have ample supplies of medicines to prevent patients from buying their prescriptions outside or in commercial drug stores,” explained Banias.
He added that the measure enables the hospital to be fully compliant with PhilHealth’s No Balance Billing, a policy that mandates that no other fees shall be charged to patients who availed of its services or benefit packages.
The upgrading of services and expansion of hospital facilities are among the priorities of Defensor under its Hospital Efficiency Assurance through Reform and Transformation.
“The governor is always emphasizing that our hospitals are built for the poor and our employees must serve with a heart,” Banias stressed.