TACLOBAN CITY – The Department of Health (DOH) 8 (Eastern Visayas) is eyeing the construction of a 300-bed tertiary hospital in Calbayog City to serve Samar Island's three provinces, home to 1.2 million people.
The DOH has created a technical working group (TWG) tasked to draft the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) for the new law that establishes the Samar Island Medical Center.
DOH-8 Director Exuperia Sabalberino said Friday that the TWG had its first meeting on May 10 to plan, discuss, and prepare the information and documentation necessary to formulate the IRR for Republic Act 11703, “An Act Establishing in the City of Calbayog, Province of Samar, a Tertiary Hospital to be known as the Samar Island Medical Center and Appropriating Funds Thereof."
“The Samar Island Medical Center will be a 300-bed capacity tertiary hospital that will be under the direct control and supervision of the Department of Health,” Sabalberino said in a statement.
The DOH is expecting to complete the draft IRR by June. President Rodrigo Duterte signed the law on April 19, 2022.
The proposed hospital, which will be funded by the national government, will benefit more than 300,000 residents of Samar's first legislative district.
The facility will also be open to all patients in Samar, Northern Samar, and Eastern Samar, which have a combined population of 1.2 million.
At present, patients with serious illnesses in Samar Island have to be transported to the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center in this city for treatment.
It takes a five-hour trip by land to get to Tacloban City from Calbayog, the site of the new hospital.
The planned DOH-run tertiary hospital will rise on a four-hectare lot in Gadgaran village, owned by the city government of Calbayog.
The government has yet to release project cost estimates.
A tertiary hospital refers to a hospital that can provide medical care to cases requiring sophisticated diagnostic and therapeutic equipment and the expertise of trained specialists and sub-specialists. (PNA)