Children’s hospital limits patients while it upgrades vs earthquakes | Inquirer News

Children’s hospital limits patients while it upgrades vs earthquakes

/ 11:35 PM November 13, 2013

The Philippine Children’s Medical Center (PCMC) will be accepting only a limited number of patients until February or March next year to give way to repairs to strengthen the structural integrity of the over 30-year-old hospital.

The hospital started undergoing a retrofitting earlier this month, the first major renovation since its inauguration in 1980. A seismic retrofit strengthens older buildings to make them resistant to earthquakes.

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Although PCMC is hard-pressed to come up with P1.1 billion to pay the National Housing Authority for the lot it has occupied since the 1980s, PCMC medical executive assistant Dr. Mary Ann Bunyi told the Inquirer that the retrofitting of the hospital was urgent and necessary.

“When the structure was analyzed last year, an engineer said that only a little over 30 percent of its strength remained,” she said.

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Due to ongoing repairs, the hospital will limit the number of patient admissions although emergency and outpatient services in addition to laboratory and diagnostic tests will continue. “Of course, we need to help patients so we will refer them to other hospitals for the time being,” Bunyi added.

In its announcement, the PCMC said the retrofitting, to be done in four phases, was aimed at ensuring the building’s structural integrity, the safety of patients and improving hospital services.

In the meantime, hospital officials asked for “utmost understanding from patients and their families and cooperation from referring hospitals and physicians for whatever inconvenience this retrofitting project will cause them.”

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TAGS: Children’s hospital, Dr. Mary Ann Bunyi, Earthquakes, National Housing Authority, PCMC, Philippine Children's Medical Center
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