STILL NO DEPED, DOH APPROVAL
THE planned Maternal Child Care and Lying Clinic of the Dagupan City government will pass through the eye of the needle before it can be granted a permit to operate by the Department of Health (DOH), according to Dr. Roland Mejia, chief of the Region 1 Medical Center located in the city.
Mejia said the DOH now grants permits based on the new stringent requirements of the World Health Organization (WHO).
He noted that the 21-bed Maternal Child Care and Lying in Center, to be built on a lot now occupied by the Juan P. Guadiz Elementary School on A. B. Fernandez Avenue West, will be a Level 1 primary hospital.
Meanwhile, the Department of Education has yet to approve the repeated requests of the city government to vacate the elementary school and approve the relocation of pupils to a three-storey building.
Among the requirements for a Level 1 hospital include an emergency room, a delivery room and an intensive care unit.
WHO also imposes the construction of a Sewage Treatment Plant for all hospitals, without which permit will be denied by the National Center for Health Facilities of DOH, Mejia said.
At the same time, the proposed hospital, being an environmentally critical project, must secure an Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) as it will be standing beside the Pantal River.
The DOH, he said, will also require the employment of a full-time obstetrician and three other doctors and six nurses and other personnel on a full-time basis.
At the same time, Mejia echoed sentiments of those asking why the city government under Mayor Benjamin Lim insists on building the hospital when there are already enough hospitals in Dagupan.
He cited R1MC for one, which he said is a government-owned hospital that is intended for public service.
“As a government hospital fully owned by the people, we are implementing the no balance payment policy of PhilHealth for indigent patients, especially those covered by 4Ps (Pantawid Pamilya Pilipino Program)… Wala silang gagastusin kahit singko,” Mejia assured.
He also cited the Basic Emergency and Neo-Natal Centers established by DOH in cluster barangays of Dagupan City where mothers giving birth can go to aside from R1MC.
Mejia also noted that R1MC now has a 600-bed capacity initiated by Rep. Gina de Venecia and will have 1,500 when its 11-storey medical building is completed within two years.
R1MC is among four government hospitals in the country to benefit from the five-year modernization program of DOH-run hospitals under the term of President Benigno Aquino III.
The others are the Cagayan Valley Medical Center, the Bicol Medical Center and the Cotabato Medical Center.
A helipad will be located at the rooftop in preparation for the formation of a DOH air ambulance, he added.
R1MC is currently a level 3 tertiary hospital, the only one so far in Pangasinan.
Other hospitals in the city, including the Villaflor Doctors Hospital, Nazareth Hospital, Pangasinan Medical Center, Trauma Hospital, Luzon Medical Center are under tertiary level 2 and all have a 75-bed capacity.