BALANGIGA, August 1, 2019—Inadequate supply of medicines and other hospital supplies, unclean and unsafe water, and the lack of personnel were among the concerns raised by the employees of the Albino Duran Memorial Hospital during a dialogue with Eastern Samar Governor Ben Evardone.
The dialogue was held on July 29 to determine the current state and the existing problems of the hospital, and to determine how these could be addressed by the government to improve its services.
Evardone assured the hospital employees that the remaining allocated funds for the medicines and supplies in the remaining two quarters this year will surely be granted to the hospital together with the revolving fund.
With regards to the request for hazard pay by the health workers, Evardone said that available funds should be prioritized for the purchase of medicines, but clarified that he supports this request if there will be available and adequate funds of the provincial government.
“I was the one who started to provide hazard pay during my previous terms as a governor, but since we do not have the luxury of infinite resources we have to prioritize medicines” Evardone said.
Meanwhile, on the issue of the lack of hospital personnel, Evardone said that there is a need to study the issue as the provincial government faces limitations regarding professional fees for additional hospital employees.
Classified by the Department of Health as an infirmary, there were several patients confined at the ADMH due to illnesses such as pneumonia who did not avail refund from Philhealth because an infirmary classification only caters to birthing services.
ADMH has the adequate facilities but has inadequate number of personnel. To be classified as a level 1 hospital, the hospital must have at least 23 nurses, but currently the hospital has only 12.
Currently, the hospital has a total of 42 employees, but lacks a medical technologist.
In Eastern Samar, there are only 2 hospitals based on the classification by the DOH, these are Eastern Samar Provincial Hospital and Felipe Abrigo Memorial Hospital in Guiuan. The rest are classified as infirmaries.
The governor appeals for unity to deliver good services despite the current situation. He pushes to have doctors, nurses, and pharmacists on 24-hour duty.
Evardone said he will prioritize the improvement of hospital services in 2020 by cutting budget from other departments in order to rationalize bigger allocations for hospitals. (Eden Cidro / ESTE News)