July 13, 2024

City Administrator Bonifacio dela Peña and Health Services Office (HSO) deputy chief Maria Lourdes Pakoy gave an update on the planned conversion of the Sto. Niño Hospital into a city hospital primary care unit.

During the regular management committee meeting of local officials at City Hall on April 11, dela Peña said he met with the owners of Sto. Niño Hospital and claimed they are “very willing” to have it rented by the city despite some legal issues that still have to be threshed out.      

He added they will meet with the concerned parties further to finalize the plan.      

Located at Lower P. Burgos St., the hospital is currently used as a Covid-19 isolation facility by the local government.      

“The main objective of establishing a city hospital is to provide good, quality health services to our constituents in the city,” dela Peña said.      

Pakoy said a meeting on the matter was held last Jan. 16 with city officials led by dela Peña, CHSO head Rowena Galpo, and representatives from other concerned agencies.       

It was learned that although the establishment of a city hospital is not a requirement of the Universal Health Care Law,  the mandate is to ensure all Filipinos are guaranteed equitable access to quality and affordable health care goods and services and protection against financial risk which may be realized by establishing a public hospital for primary care.       

The need for a city hospital was identified and agreed upon, thus the need for a feasibility study.     

“Putting up a new public hospital will definitely take up more time for the preparation and will require a lot more funding. The group agreed that since the Sto. Niño Hospital already exists and could possibly be used, it was considered as the primary option,” Pakoy said. 

While the plan is still being finalized, she added the team tasked on the matter will do a benchmarking activity at the Olongapo City Hospital to learn msore about the operational and other aspects of such an undertaking. – Gaby B. Keith