NOTE: THIS STORY WAS FIRST PUBLISHED IN THE BOHOL CHRONICLE’S SUNDAY PRINT EDITION.
The much awaited construction of the multi-billion Gov. CelestinoGallares Hospital in Cortes town willcommence civil works next month.
This will follow after the signing last Wednesday of the contract with R.R. EncaboConstructors Inc. (JV) Grundstein Construction and Development Corporation forthe construction of Phase 1 of the Specialized Medical Care Center in Cortes.
The signing of the contract between GCGMH represented by hospital chief Dr. MutyaKismet Tirol-Macuno and the contractor represented by Engr. Oliver James Matias washeld at the Metrocenter Hotel.
Macuno requested the presence of Cong. Edgar Chatto who she referred to as thefather of the project.
Chatto hatched the specialized medical care facility project when he was thengovernor of Bohol and strongly pushed for its approval and funding to theDepartment of Health (DOH) and the National Economic Development Authority(NEDA). It was one of the first major infrastructure projects approved during thefirst NEDA Boardmeeting in the term of President Rodrigo Duterte and Sec. ErniePernia.
The Provincial Government before then had donated the lot for the project as part ofpreparatory work. This facility was among top priority development projects whichChatto pushed to the DOH along with the ongoing expansion of the Gallares Hospitalin Tagbilaran. In support of this Modernization and Expansion, First DistrictRepresentative Rene Relampagos authored Republic Act 11324 which provided forthe increase in bed capacity of the hospital and the upgrading of its services andfacilities.
The project will certainly enhance tertiary health care in the province, in support ofProvincial Government vision for Bohol health services under the leadership of Gov.Art Yap and Vice Gov. Relampagos, he said.
Speaking before expectations setting session of the GCGMH implementing team, theDOH project management team, and the contractors, Chatto underscored theimportance of a coordinated approach to ensure the smooth and effectiveimplementation of the project.
The project enables healthcare delivery in the Province of Bohol to leapfrog into themodern era.
The five hectare property donated by the Provincial Government in Cortes will host acomprehensive healthcare-technology campus headlined by: a leading-edge 525-bedacademic medical center; the province’s first multi-disciplinary behavioral sciencescenter and; a branch of the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine.
The entire campus was comprehensively designed by world-renowned architectural firmsAECOM and Espina-Perez, Espina and Associates (EPEA). The design espoused thefollowing principles: global evidence-basedhealthcare design, wellness & patient-experience, occupational safety, environmentally-sound green design and key lessonsgleaned from the pandemic.
Designing for change in a post-pandemic world was one of the key influences in the designof the entire project, namely decentralization and compartmentalization to comply withstringent infection control protocol. These will be evident in: (a) inpatient areas where thetypical “wards” have been converted to 6-bed multi-occupant roomsseparated by privacydividers in compliance to droplet precaution protocol; (b) critical care units feature acuity-adaptable single-occupant patient cubicles to ensure isolation; (c) administrative areas willbe divided into smaller sections with each occupant occupying individual cubicles; lastly, (d)major clinical sections are designed to have independently-functioning “isolation units” thatcan be activated during pandemics and/or mass casualty events such as Imaging &Radiology, Operating Room Complex and Obstetrics Complex. These design features willenable the Hospital to simultaneously attend to both “contagious” and clean populationssimultaneously without the risk of cross-contamination.
Construction of Phase 1 (of 4) will commence civil works within Q1 of this year and willinclude two buildings internally designated as A and B. Building A is devoted to high-acuitycare which includes the Emergency & Trauma Department, 16 operating roomssituated on two floors and four critical care units.
Building B will feature a major innovation from the pandemic which is the BiocontainmentUnit (BCU). Modeled after best practices in several research and academic hospitalsworldwide, the unit will feature 26 single-occupancy negative-pressure roomswith individual restrooms and anterooms/decontamination rooms. It is a fully independentunit with its own Biosafety Level 3 “hot laboratory”, satellite pharmacy & staff facilities whichare fully compliant to international biological safety standards. The BCU is the epitome ofthe Department of Health’s (DOH) Emerging & Re-emerging Infectious Disease (EREID)Program.
Building B will also feature specialized diagnostic centers for Advanced GastrointestinalEndoscopy, Pulmonology (Sleep Studies & Bronchoscopy), and a Neurosciences Center(Neurophysiology, Epilepsy & Stroke centers). A Heart & Vascular Center which will offerprovince’s first center for invasive cardiology (catheterization laboratory) to becomplemented by a fully equipped non-invasive cardiology center. Another first for theprovince will be the phase-4 Nuclear Medicine facility featuring radioimmunoassay,radioactive iodine ablation therapy, a SPECT-CT scanner and eventually a PET-CTscanner.
The succeeding phases will be implemented as follows: Phase 2 – Q3 2021 (Bldg. C -Ancillary Services & Offices; and Bldg. E – Behavioural Sciences Center); Phase 3 – Q12022 (Bldg. D – Children’s Hospital & Women’s Health Center); and Phase 4 – Q1 2023 (theregional branch of the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine).
As we implement Universal Healthcare, the Department of Health and Gov. CelestinoGallares Memorial Hospital not only aims to offer leading-edge healthcare technology andinnovation but also compassionate & holistic patient care ascribing to the Hospital’s mantra,“So Gallares, So Kind”.
MULTI AGENCY TASK FORCE
Earlier, Chatto had suggested for the creation of a multi-agency Local ProjectMonitoring Team, that will see through all the activities in relation to the projectexecution.
In a preliminary meeting at the First Congressional District Sub-office in Balilihan,Chatto picked up from the experience of constructing key infrastructure projectssuch as the Bohol Panglao International Airport and the BoholProvincial Capitol inthe need to harmonize processes in implementing the project through theinvolvement of the Provincial Government, the Local Government Unit of Cortes,relevant national government agencies, and utilities, among others.
Macuno, for her part, assured Chatto that the implementing team intends to make amodel out of the project through a proposed construction bubble that will put inplace both construction safety and security as well asCOVID-specific protocols.
Cortes Mayor Iven Lim also expressed his support for the project, already directinghis heads of offices as well as barangay officials to make the necessary arrangements.
The meeting also opened discussions on the prioritization of local skilled workers inCortes and neighboring towns, securing permits, preparatory and pre-constructionactivities, waste management, timelines, among others.
A site visit at the Malayo Norte site had been conducted by key personnel of bothGCGMH and the construction group before the meeting in Balilihan.
They are set to meet with Provincial Government officials led by Gov. Yap and ViceGov. Relampagos together with relevant agencies at a scheduled date to explore areasof cooperation to fast track the project.
The 500-bed health facility is targeted to be constructed in a year and half.
“The dream for the hospital is to deliver improved health services not only for theBoholanos but also for its visitors,” Chatto said, committing to fully support theproject’s realization.
The province can look forward to enhanced health services with Chatto also stronglypushing for the establishment of the Bohol Island State University (BISU) College ofMedicine, which funding is provided in the 2021 National Budget, a developmentthat also aligns with the approval of the Doktor Para sa Bayan Law.
Chatto said this completes health care delivery in Bohol with future product