LAOAG CITY – Ilocos Norte province will hire more medical professionals to boost its expanding public healthcare facilities.
Governor Matthew Joseph Manotoc confirmed this on Tuesday following his second State of the Province Address (SOPA), highlighting his administration’s major achievements to improve the current healthcare services offered in government-run hospitals here.
“We have kept our promise to hire more medical professionals and across the board, medical and otherwise. We are still aggressively looking to hire. Please spread the word,” said Manotoc, citing that in the past year, the Ilocos Norte government hired 22 doctors, 26 nurses, 14 medical technicians and five radiology technicians.
Dr. Rogelio Balbag, executive director of the Ilocos Norte Hospital and Management Council, said more doctors and other specialists are needed to ensure the provision of basic and adequate health services to all patients amid the continuing upgrading and expansion of various public health facilities of the Governor Roque B. Ablan Sr. Memorial Hospital (GRBASMH) and the acquisition of new computed tomography (CT) scan at the Bangui District Hospital.
In the 2023 budget, Balbag said the provincial government has allocated a budget to fill vacant positions for doctors and other medical professionals.
The posts remain vacant because some medical professionals prefer to work abroad or have their own clinics.
To entice more healthcare professionals to join government service, Manotoc vowed to increase the salaries of provincial government workers and ensure a fair wage for all.
After opening a new outpatient department building worth PHP10 million, the provincial hospital will have its three-story clinical laboratory soon.
The Department of Health (DOH) provided a budget worth PHP75 million for this project that broke ground last week.
In addition, patients at the GRBASMH needing a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner will no longer have to go to other facilities as the provincial hospital has its own machine.
Manotoc said the construction of the dialysis building is also 90 percent completed and shall be up next year.
Other government-run hospitals and medical facilities in the province are upgraded, including the expansion of main buildings, laboratories, emergency rooms and pharmacy departments for the comfort of patients. (PNA)