Bill increasing ZCMC bed capacity pass house committee PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 10 March 2017 13:34

by DEXTER YAP

The House Committee on Health, chaired by Rep. Angelina Tan approved on March 8, 2017, HB No. 3750 authored by Cong. Celso Lobregat which seeks to increase the bed capacity of the Zamboanga City Medical Center (ZCMC) from 500 to 800.

Lobregat said the measure was meant to support the development of Mindanaos health sector in terms of augmenting the governments capability to deliver various medical services to a greater number of its constituents.

In his sponsorship speech, Lobregat said the ZCMC started as a General Hospital on September 1, 1918, making it the oldest hospital in the Philippines with its upcoming centennial anniversary next year.

Lobregat added that ZCMC, as a General Hospital, started with a bed capacity of only 200, later on upgraded to 250, and by virtue of R.A 10613, its bed capacity was increased to 500 in August 2013. Further, records show that ZCMCs occupancy rate is now over 120%.

This health facility does not only serve patients from Zamboanga City, but the whole of Zamboanga Peninsula to include Zamboanga Sibugay, Zamboanga Del Norte, and Zamboanga Del Sur. The ZCMC likewise serves patients coming from the ARMM provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-tawi.

Present during the hearing was Dr. Romeo Ong, the Medical Center Chief of ZCMC. When asked to give comments on the bill, the Medical Chief said that, “ZCMC is the only level 3 hospital in the entire Zamboanga Peninsula and Western Mindanao. It serves a total of 37,000 in-patients last year, 131,000 OPD; 11,300 surgeries; 285,000 laboratory examinations; 48,000 x-ray procedures and 858 prescriptions for the pharmacy”.

According to Dr. Ong, as part of the Philippine Health Development Plan for 2017 and 2022, ZCMC is slated to be the Regional Specialty Center for heart, lung, cancer, toxicology, diabetes, trauma, rehab, burn and womens center among others.

Through the years, ZCMC strove to improve its health care services to its residents and patients. However, its present capacity limits it from servicing its increasing number of patients.

In the said hearing, the Department of Health (DOH) interposed no objection to the proposed measure, subject to compliance with the DOH requirements.

Once enacted into law, the proposed upgrading of the ZCMC will complement the present thrust of the DOH to enhance health facilities, improve access to quality care and to scale up public efforts to attain health goals. (Dexter Yap)