Eastern Visayas needs 1,500 hospital beds to conform to global standards

By on June 22, 2014


Debris lines the streets of Tacloban, Leyte island. This region was the worst affected by the typhoon, causing widespread damage and loss of life. Caritas is responding by distributing food, shelter, hygiene kits and cooking utensils. (Photo: Eoghan Rice - Trócaire / Caritas)
Debris lines the streets of Tacloban, Leyte island. This region was the worst affected by the typhoon, causing widespread damage and loss of life. Caritas is responding by distributing food, shelter, hygiene kits and cooking utensils. (Photo: Eoghan Rice – Trócaire / Caritas)

TACLOBAN CITY — Eastern Visayas still needs additional 1,500 hospital beds for its 4.2 million population, to conform to global standards of one hospital bed per 1,000 population, the Department of Health reported.

The government is optimistic of closing the gap in the few years with the construction of new state-run and privately-owned health facilities.

“It’s not only the government that is offering health care services, private hospitals are also taking the lead,” said DOH Regional director Jose R. Lacuna.

Records of the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation show that that region has a combined hospital bed capacity of 2,700, or 1,500 less than the World Health Organization (WHO) standard for a region with a population of 4.2 million.

Health care service gaps have been blamed as one of the causes of deaths in the region. For instance, 92 mothers died per 100,000 live births, 40 percent of infant do not survive after birth, and 24 percent of tuberculosis patients succumbed.

The construction and expansion of new private hospitals such as Ormoc Doctors Hospital in western Leyte and Catarman Doctors Hospital in Northern Samar are expected to fill in the gap, according to DOH.

The major project that would raise the quality of health care service is the P2 billion modernization of new Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center.

The existing EVRMC, badly damaged by storm surges, has only 325 bed capacity.

The poorly equipped state-run regional hospital has been recording seven percent mortality rate. The new facility aims to bring down the hospital mortality rate to four percent.

The project will transfer the entire facility to a new site in Cabalawan village. It will double the current bed capacity, modernize equipments and enhance the skills of medical staff.

Construction will start in October this year and will be completed June 2016.

The ground floor will house radiology and diagnostic, emergency room, outpatient complex, patient business services, pharmacy, and dietary services. Special areas, central supply, food court, and radiology department will be at the second floor.

The third floor is devoted for operating rooms, intensive care complex, watcher’s area and counselling area. Service wards and private rooms are located in the fourth and fifth floors of the building.

To be housed in the sixth floor are the administration offices, department offices, information technology room, training rooms, auditorium, and records section.