Public outcry over deplorable medical facilities and patient services in the premier government hospital in Bohol is slowly muffled by significant changes in hospital relationship with patients and a massive upgrading of hospital facilities and infrastructure.
Newly appointed medical center chief, Dr. Mutya Kismet Tirol Macuno announced to media on Thursday that the Governor Celestino Gallares Memorial Regional Teaching Training Hospital finally made the cut as a level 3 general hospital by the Department of Health (DOH).
“After 20 years as a teaching training hospital we are now licensed as a level 3 hospital which is the highest level of accreditation for a general hospital,” said Macuno.
Based on Administrative Order 2012-0012 of the DOH, a level 3 hospital, in addition to the services and facilities of a level 1 and 2 health facility, will now incorporate an accredited residency training program, a physical medicine and rehabilitation unit, ambulatory surgical clinic, dialysis clinic, and a blood bank.
However, Macuno was candid enough to admit that the butt of severe criticisms from the public against hospital personnel rudeness, lack of compassion and the ordeal of long waits for treatment is painstakingly addressed after GCGMH was reported to the 8888 emergency complaint center by a patient who allegedly was left unattended for almost one month.
Zeroing into the unending grievances on the condescending attitude of medical personnel including hospital custodial workers or janitors, Macuno assured the stakeholders that ongoing capacity building program will translate into better relations with patients.
An emergency trunk-line number is now in the works to immediately handle complaints which will be forwarded to the nursing supervisor.
Macuno also told the media of the scheduled roll-out on January 4, 2017 of the PhP2.2 billion modernization of the GCGMH with the initial construction of a Php550 million five-story building within the hospital premises that will add 400 more hospital beds.
The new building which has a completion period of 24 months will answer for the lack of 181 hospital beds needed to serve more than 360 patients a day.
According to Macuno the occupancy rate of the 225-bed hospital has exceeded by 81% but with the completion of the new building the additional beds will serve the increasing number of patients of the hospital.
Macuno said that one of the reasons for the congestion experienced by GCGMH is the PhilHealth policy of requiring patients with Pneumonia, gastroenteritis and urinary track infection to be confined for four days to avoid further complications.
Macuno considered the establishment of a separate and independent emergency cesarean obstetrics and gynecology (OB-Gyn) operating room as “eventual resolution of the reduction of infant and maternal mortality under the Philippine sustainable development goals.”
The OB-Gyn operating room is now serving the needs of women referred to GCGMH for caesarean operations.
According to Macuno, since the opening of the OB-Gyn operating room, 86 pregnant women who delivered their babies by caesarean birth were performed thereby relieving them of serious complications.
A massive manpower build-up is now ongoing to with the hiring of additional nurses to achieve the ideal nurse-patient ratio of 1:12 while ten-fourth year South Western Medical School medical students will undergo internship at the pediatric department of the hospital, according to Macuno.
At present, the 186 nurses translate into a 1-30 nurse-patient ratio with 46 resident doctors.
An indicative staffing plan is now under study to complement the expected increase of hospital personnel to comply with the stringent standards for a level 3 general hospital.
Remarkable improvements at the dialysis unit came with the signing of the memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Ramiro Community Hospital to accommodate 20 patients to ease the congestion of 166 wait-listed dialysis patient and the opening of a third shift to have room for another 20 patients.
The innovations in the hemodialysis unit has brought down the queue to 120 patients but Macuno said that with the additional purchase of 12 more dialysis machines to complement the existing 8 units will bring down the long patient wait times to a manageable level.
Macuno assured the indigent dialysis patients that additional expenses for their sessions at the privately owned Ramiro Community Hospital will be answered by the Medical Assistance Fund (MAF).
The transfer and construction of a new hemodialysis unit to the present hospital parking lot is now on the drawing boards together with the PhP45 million expansion of the outpatient department building that will also include additional dialysis units.
Indigent patients will no longer avail of medicines from pharmacies outside the hospital after Macuno approved the policy of requiring medical personnel dispensing medications to explain why patients were prescribed medicines for purchase outside the hospital pharmacy.
The Therapeutic committee of the GCGMH has been working to assure the availability of medicines at the hospital pharmacy to minimize additional expenses by in-patients for the purchase of prescribed medicines.
The GCGMH site development plan will include a two story internal medicine building, a two story surgery building and a 16 car parking lot which is expected to lessen the expected traffic in the area.
Macuno is now working with the hospital staff to go into carpooling to ease the growing traffic congestion existing in streets surrounding the hospital premises.
Policy changes now being implemented by a determined GCGMH hospital management team aims to improve patient experience on not getting sick but on getting better. (Chito M. Visarra)