Modernization underway as Bicol's first gov't hospital turns 100
LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines – Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital (BRTTH), a former US army station hospital, recently celebrated its centennial anniversary here.
Dr Rogelio Rivera, BRTTH chief of hospital, said the region's first government hospital is preparing for the future to meet the global demand for better public health services
"We're heading to computerizing and developing [a] safer and green hospital in the country with water treatment sewage," he added.
Rivera said BRTTH is the catchment area of Albay, Catanduanes, Masbate, Sorsogon, and other nearby provinces. The hospital caters to an increasing number of patients annually.
Today, BRTTH is the region's heart and cancer center. But Rivera also hopes for the hospital to become a brain center that will lure Bicolano medical specialists currently based in Manila to return and serve the increasing number of patients in the area.
"The operation is very expensive, but if the BRTTH will be the brain center, we can at least help minimize the expenses of the patients as they can no longer go to other hospitals for operation and treatment," he added.
Albay 2nd District Representative Joey Salceda, for his part, envisions the BRTTH to become "the Philippine General Hospital of the south," equipped with modern facilities to cater to Bicolanos' needs.
Salceda has allocated P1.8 billion ($34.25 million)* for the modernization of the BRTTH in the next 3 years. He said the amount will be used for the construction of a 5-story building with 600 beds.
Salceda considers the BRTTH as a pillar of economic development. In fact, he expects an increase in the number of patients once the Bicol International Airport becomes fully operational in 2020.
"By 2020, which is the opening of the Bicol International Airport, your admission is expected to spike not only because BRTTH is the catchment area for medical services of neighboring provinces, including foreigners. We envision Bicol, specifically Albay province, as the California way of life in 2050, as a livable place," he said during the centennial anniversary of the hospital on Tuesday, May 29.
The BRTTH has an authorized bed capacity of 250, although there are 512 actual beds in the hospital. It also has 1,085 employees, 675 of which are regular employees, while 410 are job order workers.
Rivera said they are experiencing congestion due to the hospital's increasing number of patients. Right now, the hospital accommodates about 450 to 500 patients daily.
To address the congestion, he said the government is already establishing 4 new buildings for the hospital. Aside from the planned 5-story building, other buildings for dialysis, ER-trauma, and patient support service are also in the pipeline.
Construction is also ongoing for other infrastructure such as a heart center (which will be operational by July), a cancer center, and a psychiatric building. The hospital's outpatient department is also being rehabilitated. – Rappler.com
*US$1 = P52.55