Two senators have expressed support for a measure that will convert the almost century-old Governor Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital (GCGMH) in Tagbilaran City into a two-locality medical complex that will house improved healthcare facilities.
In a virtual joint committee hearing led by the Senate’s Committee on Health on Tuesday, Senators Sonny Angara and Francis Tolentino noted on record their support for the proposed legislation.
Senate Bill 2244, which was introduced by Angara in the Senate, is the counterpart of Bohol First District Rep. Edgar Chatto’s House Bill No. 10242 which seeks to convert the GCGMH into the Governor Celestino Gallares Multi-Specialty Medical Complex (GCGMMC).
Chatto, during the same hearing led by Senate health committee chairman Senator Bong Go, said the measure will improve the hospital’s capabilities and expand its facilities.
The GCGMMC will comprise two main facilities, the ambulatory care center in Tagbilaran City, which is the hospital’s original complex, and the multi-specialty care center which is still under construction in Cortes town.
“The multi-specialty center in Cortes is envisioned to house a medical complex that will include modern facilities for critical care, diagnostics, dialysis operating units, in-patient care, among others,” said Chatto.
The veteran lawmaker added that the GCGMMC will establish an “improved” center for infectious diseases and tropical medicine.
It will also house Bohol’s first mental health and behavioral sciences facility.
“Ultimately, the bill aims to greatly improve the medical facilities and services as well ensure accessibility and affordability in healthcare services in the province,” Chatto said.
According to Chatto, the GCGMMC will also help decongest hospitals in Central Visayas, particularly in Cebu where some of the region’s top hospitals are located.
The facility is also intended to generate employment for residents in the province.
“It will open opportunities to Boholano professionals in the medical field including those in medical tourism,” he added.
The GCGMH was established in 1929 and has evolved from an eight-bed provincial hospital into Bohol’s first and only Level 3 Hospital.
Chatto’s bill seeks to further support the hospital’s growth into one of the region’s top health facilities.
In September last year, House Bill No. 10242 was approved by the House of Representatives and transmitted to the Senate. (A. Doydora)