The Soccsksargen General Hospital in Surallah, South Cotabato. (Photo courtesy of PIA – South Cotabato)

KORONADAL CITY, South Cotabato – The Soccsksargen General Hospital (SGH) in Surallah town has opened its doors to serve the public, including coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) patients.

This came after the SGH was issued with a Department of Health (DOH) permit to operate as an infirmary level facility with a 50-bed capacity.

“However, our operating room is not yet fully functional. We don’t have yet the major surgical procedures and cesarean section as of now,” SGH chief Dr. Ceril Boromeo said Tuesday.

The SGH, which formally opened Monday, will initially offer limited clinical services with admissions, Boromeo said.

She said the hospital is equipped with facilities for family medicine, internal medicine for adults, pediatrics, obstetrics, gynecology as well as minor surgery.

“For obstetrics, we are only allowed to cater delivery for second, third, and fourth pregnancies because the first pregnancy should be delivered at Level 1 hospital,” Boromeo said.

As for Covid-19 cases, the SGH can only cater mild to moderate cases.

“We have our isolation room because Covid-19 cases are increasing due to the new variants,” Boromeo said.

In addition, the SGH can also perform ancillary and allied services with its basic laboratory for complete blood count, urinalysis, stool exam and blood chemistries.

“We also have our radiology, X-ray, and ultrasound, but for CT scan we are still processing our license,” Boromeo added.

She noted that the SGH was initially given a permit to operate as an infirmary level facility because the DOH wanted it to open immediately.

“Let’s wait for the right time probably by the end of this year we will accelerate to level 2, and we can improve our services,” Boromeo said.

Boromeo said PhilHealth programs can also be availed by patients, adding they are expecting the facility to have its own Malasakit center soon.

In October 2018, then President Rodrigo Duterte signed into law Republic Act 11102 mandating the establishment of the SGH in Surallah.

It paved the way for the conversion of the Upper Valley Community Hospital in Surallah to SGH, which is managed by the South Cotabato provincial government as an extension of the provincial hospital in Koronadal City.

The transfer of the SGH management to DOH came after the signing of a memorandum of understanding in June this year for the payment of PHP100 million to the provincial government for the hospital’s development and operational expenses.

The Soccsksargen Regional Development Council endorsed last year an allocation of PHP1.8 billion for the facility's development. (PNA)