KORONADAL CITY – South Cotabato officials are pushing for the revival of the shelved PHP200-million expansion of the provincial hospital here funded by the national government.
Dr. Conrado Braña, chief of the the South Cotabato Provincial Hospital (SCPH), said Wednesday they are working with the Department of Health (DOH) for the resumption of the project along with some modifications.
He said these include the transfer of the planned four-story hospital building’s site and the addition of other vital facilities in the project design.
The expansion project, which was funded under the 2018 national budget, initially broke ground in February 2019 but was discontinued after the provincial government sought its transfer to another location.
Instead of the approved site within the SCPH compound, South Cotabato Gov. Reynaldo Tamayo Jr. pushed for the construction of the new hospital building in a vacant space at the nearby Productivity and Technology Center compound.
Braña said the local government was earlier informed by concerned officials that the project has already lapsed after its implementation was disrupted.
But in a recent meeting with DOH-12 officials, he said they were advised that the project may continue and needs to undergo another rebidding if it will be moved to another site.
“That will be beneficial for us since we can include in the design some facilities that we really need to improve our capacity in responding to emerging and reemerging infections such as Covid-19 (coronavirus disease 2019),” Braña said in a media forum.
He cited the establishment of isolation wards, negative pressure areas or rooms, and provision of space for a molecular laboratory.
Based on the original design, the expansion building will have nursing service facilities, operating room, X-ray room, private rooms and wards, and administrative offices.
The project is expected to increase the SCPH’s capacity by an additional 100 beds, and allow it to open additional services.
Braña said the provincial hospital has an authorized capacity of 200 beds but its daily admission exceeds 300 patients.
He added they have 32 positive and 12 probable patients at the Covid-19 isolation and treatment ward, while four are in the intensive care unit. (PNA)