New ward eases overcrowding at S. Cotabato provincial hospital

GENERAL SANTOS CITY, April 22 (PNA) — Overcrowding problems at the South Cotabato provincial hospital have finally eased, with the operationalization of the facility’s additional ward.

Dr. Conrado Braña, provincial hospital chief, said Friday they opened earlier this week the hospital’s newly-converted temporary ward, which used to be its gymnasium and storage area.

He said they have transferred to the new ward the patients who were occupying the hospital’s lobby area.

The provincial hospital management had allowed the admission of patients who could no longer be accommodated in its wards and rooms to stay at the lobby and other available spaces within the facility.

“The lobby area is now cleared (of patients). We needed to get creative to address this problem,” Braña said.

The Department of Health (DOH) had released around PHP17 million for the conversion of the mini gym into a temporary ward and the rehabilitation of the three-storey old research building at the right wing of the provincial hospital.

Such funding was from the DOH’s Health Facilities Enhancement Program.

When completed, Braña said the additional ward being built at the building could accommodate at least 50 more patients.

The provincial hospital, which is classified as a Level II facility, has a listed capacity of 200 beds.

But the daily patient admission reaches an average of 270 persons based on the hospital’s floor census.

Aside from the opening of the additional wards, Braña said they are currently working on the acquisition of additional hospital equipment and other necessities.

He said they initially received a supplemental funding from the provincial government for the purchase of industrial fans and curtains for the temporary ward.

“(We want) to ensure that our patients would be comfortable and still have dignity although they’re staying in an unconventional ward,” he said.

Braña said they are also working on the purchase of a magnetic resonance imaging or MRI scanner and additional x-ray machines.

The DOH had approved an equipment grant of 10 dialysis machines for the provincial hospital.

The local government is planning to set up the dialysis machines at the pay wing of the hospital.(PNA)

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