The Catanduanes Doctors Hospital, Inc. (CDHI) formally opened its St. Martin de Porres charity ward last week for the benefit of patients who have less in life and would find it difficult to pay their hospital bills.
Chief Executive Officer and President Dr. Lubelia Sanchez said that the six-bed ward – with three beds each room for male and female patients – is in compliance with the Department of Health’s licensing requirement to allocate 10 percent of its total 60-bed capacity for charity cases,
Initially, the ward will provide Obstetrics-Gynecology (OBGyne) and surgical services, she said, with more services to be added later.
It will operate on a No-Balance-Billing system under PhilHealth, with additional charges on patients to be charged to funds provided by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) as well as the Medical Assistance Indigency Program (MAIP) of TGP Rep. Jose Teves Jr. and Cong. Eulogio Rodriguez.
Despite its ups and downs in the past years, CDHI’s new board of directors headed by Iluminada Teves and the hospital management led by CEO-Pres. Sanchez and Chief Operating Officer/Medical Director Dr. Ivan Gil Balmadrid is working as one to improve the hospital’s service delivery pursuant to its goal to become the premier hospital in Catanduanes.
Among the measures being implemented, Dr. Sanchez bared, are the conduct of skills and customer service trainings to ensure the growth and development of the staff, with one training for 20 personnel already completed, and the upgrading of laboratory equipment for accurate diagnosis, including ventilators and anesthesia machine, with a panoramic X-ray machine arriving in two weeks.
She said that the new equipment is being funded by the doctors themselves for lease by CDHI, with the hospital to be better equipped to accept referrals from other health facilities in the island.
Talks are also ongoing with the Philippine Red Cross Catanduanes Chapter for the establishment of a blood bank at the hospital that would address the delay in the delivery of blood as the existing blood station is not capable of screening blood.
The lack of blood, Sanchez stressed, is among the major causes of unnecessary maternal deaths in the province.
Along with the repair of the damage wrought by super typhoon Rolly, the management has standardized the salaries of its staff, with another increase due next year along with additional health insurance coming from the hospital staff’s share of the doctors’ professional fees.
Since the hospital cannot prevent nurses from going abroad, CDHI has met with the local government units if they could allow their staff to go on duty at CDHI during their off hours with appropriate remuneration.
It has likewise hired a chief marketing officer, Christian Alec Borja, to make promote the hospital’s services, with CDHI given a new meaning: Charitable, Dependable, Hospitable, Innovative.
In his remarks, Cong. Rodriguez said that a portion of his MAIP allocation will be allotted to the private hospital for patients who have been referred by public hospitals.
Rep. Teves announced that for the past two years he has given P1.5 million as assistance for patients and that he has talked with a Red Cross governor regarding the setting up of the blood bank at CDHI.
National agencies are now allowed to invest or provide funds for private hospitals through memoranda of agreement, he added, with the TGP Partylist allocating MAIP funding for private hospitals in Cebu, Laguna, Basilan and other provinces.
In closing, Dr. Sanchez emphasized that the common view that health services at CDHI is expensive is a misconception, as a comparison of the costs with other private hospitals showed that CDHI’s services are cheaper.