THE Region 1 Medical Center (R1MC) in Dagupan City will be undergoing major expansion with the construction of a P1.6-billion earthquake-proof, 11-storey building complete with a helipad beginning within the first half of this year.
Dr. Joseph Roland Mejia, RIMC chief, said the project is funded by the national government under the Universal Health Care program and is targeted for completion by 2015.
Further, a six-storey medical arts building with a multi-level parking for the out-patient department costing P458-million, also to be funded by the Department of Health, is also in the pipeline and is planned for construction simultaneous with the 11-storey building.
Mejia said the new building will fast-track the proposal of 4th District Rep. Gina de Venecia whose bill for the expansion of the R1MC from 300-bed capacity to 600 has been approved by the House of Representatives and is now up for Senate discussion under Senator Pia Cayetano’s committee chairmanship.
Once completed, the 11-storey building on a 3,000 square-meter lot will give R1MC, currently the only level-three hospital in Pangasinan with training and research facilities, a 1,500 bed capacity.
Mejia said the existing obstetrics and surgical ward at the R1MC will be demolished to pave the way for the construction of the new building and a relocation plan is now being prepared to ensure convenience for patients.
The inauguration of the hospital’s new emergency room in March is expected to be attended by President Benigno Aquino III, which will coincide with the groundbreaking and laying of time capsule for the P1.6-billion expansion project.
Mejia narrated that the 87-year old R1MC started as a dispensary, then evolved to Pangasinan General Hospital, later as Gov. Teofilo Sison Pangasinan Provincial Hospital, and eventually to its present name R1MC which took effect during the time of former President Fidel Ramos following its restoration with the help of then Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr. after the facility was destroyed by the 1990 strong earthquake.–Eva Visperas