In the face of sustained complaints on the Â poor quality of patient care at the Governor Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital (GCGMH), newly appointed hospital chief, Dr. Mutya Kismet Tirol MacunoÂ has put into motion innovative changes to fast-track health care delivery that was sorely lacking in this government-run regional training hospital.
Macuno, who was appointed GCGMH hospital chief on October 24, 2016 moved to “make the impossible possible through common sense.” by opening laboratory services on a 24/7 basis, increasing the absorptive capacity of the hospital to spend a P9 million medical asset fund to benefit more indigent patients, speed up the processing of Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) benefits and provide complete medicine to patients.
Macuno also announced the hiring of more medical personnel to augment an undermanned and overworked hospital workforce that has been the butt of severe criticisms from the public for rudeness, lack of compassion and the ordeal of long waits for treatment.
Zeroing into the unending grievances on the condescending attitude of medical personnel including hospital custodial workers or janitors, Macuno assured the stakeholders that ongoing capacity building program will translate into better relations with patients.
Overburdened by the time consuming clerical requirements of medical cases, nurses aired their grievances to the new hospital chief over their inability to focus on their main line of work leading to stressful encounters with their patients.
ButÂ Macuno empathized with the “overloaded” working conditions of nurses who are dealing with an average sixty patients handling clinical and non-clinical work.
MacunoÂ placed ward clerks to assist nurses in their clerical requirements and directed the immediate employment of 15 nurses with an additional 41 by next year.
Anesthesiologists and medical technologists are now in the job lists of MacunoÂ including 21 janitors who were mentioned by complainants as allegedly lacking the necessary skills to maintain hospital housekeeping services.
The release of the P9 million balance for medical assistance to indigent patients under the “No Balance Billing Policy” of the Department of Health (DOH) is now directly under the hospital’s social worker that resulted in the pay-out of P7 million in less than two months, according to Macuno.
The lifting of laboratory and blood screening fees for indigent out-patients has strengthened the no out of pocket expenditures, as far as practicable, the commitment of the government-run hospital to indigent out-patients.
Surprised over the low utilization rate of PhilHealth beneficiaries estimated at only 41% as compared to the 93% rate of the Don Emilio Del Valle Hospital in UbayÂ where she was the hospital chief, Macuno ordered the immediate use of the PhilHealth portal.
GCGMH has not been utilizing the simple web based online verification system of membership and eligibility which only requires a computer with internet connection.
With more than P78 million of funds at its disposal for hospital improvement, GCGMH will have its own P25 million oxygen plant thereby doing away with the leasing of oxygen tanks from private companies.
An P8 million expansion of the hospital blood bank and a P45 million development of the emergency and operating rooms, rehabilitation center and the purchase of more than 20 dialysis machines to serve the 166 patients waiting list for hemodialysis treatment.
Apparently freed from the lack of funds that has hampered effective management of the hospital, MacunoÂ bared that a new P550 million six storyÂ building will answer for the lack of 181 hospital beds needed to serve more than 360 patients a day.
According to MacunoÂ the occupancy rate of the 225 bed hospital has exceeded by 81% but with the completion of the new building an additional 250 beds will serve the increasing number of patients of the hospital.
The Senate approved the bill sponsored by 1st District Congressman Rene Relampagos increasing the bed capacity of GCGMH from 225 to 526 beds.
Also included in the infrastructure development program was the establishment of a separate and independent emergency cesarean obstetrics and gynecology operating room.
Macuno considered as “historical” the review of the “urgent and pressing issue” and eventual resolution of the reduction of infant and maternal mortality under the Philippine sustainable development goals.
The new GCGMH hospital chief told the media during the weekly “Kita ug ang Gobernador” program on Friday, that the shortfalls that has been plaguing the regional hospital was “an opportunity and not a burden to raise the standard of service for the poor Boholano patients.”
The GCGMH was officially opened on October 19, 1929 as an eight bed hospital during the term of Governor Filomeno CaseÃ±as and was named after Tagbilaran Mayor and Governor Celestino Gallares whose family donated the lot where the hospital stands.Â (Chito M. Visarra)