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New design, hope for city hospital

In the place where I used to reside in Magallanes Street,  the Cebu city government through  Lucelle Mercado and Probe head Raquel Arce was able to clear and clean up  what used to be a  gasoline station surrounded by   ambulant vendors’ shanties.

The place  became a haven for snatchers and miscreants who flee into the warren after their mischief to  avoid the police.  Today peace and order has been restored.  It’s no longer a crime den.  Thank you to Ms  Mercado and  Arce and  the GASA  program in City Hall.

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CARE CCMC has  presented a proposed design for a new Cebu City Medical Center. There were  no negative reactions from the City Council  except for a few questions that were answered by  Dr. Shawn Espina and architect Miko Espina.

The proposed new hospital will be built at  its original location and will be developed as part of an  integrated disaster command with the  fire department and City Traffic Operations Management (Citom) in one building within the city hospital.

I asked Dr. Espina what happened to their initial proposal  to build this at  the South Road Properties and was told that the Department of Health didn’t agree to it because of its policy requiring that hospitals should not be built in areas  fronting the sea so that in times of emergency it can have access to all  roads so as not to hamper operations during a calamity.

I asked what about the location of  Chong Hua and University of Cebu Med that are constructing their own hospitals in Mandaue City’s Reclamation Area.

Dr. Shawn answered that both are private hospitals, so I surmise  that they are not covered by the DOH circular.

In the plan,    Panganiban Street would be realigned to the hospital’s location to provide a bigger site for the new medical center for Cebu City. Based on the design presented, the new CCMC would have six stories and would be outfitted with  modern equipment.

The proposal calls for running it like a  semi-private hospital where  management is left to the doctors. This would correct the erroneous setup where  politicians who are not doctors decide on crucial management matters  like  hiring and firing as if doctors themselves are not qualified to determine who are most qualified for hospital work.

In previous years, politicians dipped their dirty fingers in  running CCMC which led to its  dismal performance. The best contrast is the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center which is managed by doctors and  insulated from politicians.

One  councilor is recommending that a ward for the elderly be included in the proposed new city hospital. Unfortunately, the  councilor is not a doctor and is not aware of the repercussions of his suggestion. I think it’s best to leave  medical matters to the experts.

I hope the new city  hospital will be insulated from politics and run  professionally  like a private facility.

It should be a hospital for all,  accessible to indigent patients as well as the rich who may be accommodated provided  they pay for their confinement .

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