Whether or not it gains support from the Cebu City Council, the semi-privatization of the Cebu City Medical Center is worth a serious look.
It may be the only way to run a public hospital with professionalism.
Leaving the CCMC completely to government bureaucracy would have it end up in the same sorry state its been for decades, caught in a gridlock of political appointments and power squabbles among local goverment officials.
A healthy balance is needed in the competitive world of medical services.
City Hall has the mandate to serve indigent patients, but not the expertise or sound judgment to run a hospital in fine form.
Initial plans are looking good.
For one, it would be integrated in a complex of sorts with the Bureau of Fire Protection and the Cebu City Traffic Operations Management to create what the Rama administration called an “integrated emergency response center.”
Deciding to build on the original site on N. Bacalso Avenue settles a long-drawn discussion on whether to transfer to a lonely spot in the South Road Properties (SRP), where jeepneys don’t ply routes.
Did we hear an “I told you so” from former congressman Tomas Osmeña, who called for retro-fitting the existing city hospital where it stands?
No need to gloat.
Whatever is the best solution for Cebuano residents should be a decision shared by all.
Building a new structure from the ground up, one that is quake-resistant up to magnitude 8, is a better idea.
Building, however, is one thing.
Defining day-to-day functions and lines of policy making go to the essence of a hospital’s operation.
Who will appoint the chief of hospital?
Will the board of directors be predominantly government suits or private sector representatives?
How does one insulate management decisions from the petty bickering of political opponents in a local government?
Dr. Shawn Espina, a surgeon dedicated to the whole effort as a core member of CCMC Cares, correctly insists that management and administration should be left to the private sector as the more efficient stakeholder.
Whatever Cebu City officials decide, they should realize they have a new opportunity to get this right.
Build it well and complete it before the end of 2015 or at least before another calamity visits again.
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