Organized by the Provincial Health Office, the forum gathered personnel of all district hospitals in the province, local chief executives, concerned provincial, municipal and barangay officials, representatives from the Department of Health(DOH), barangay health workers and nutrition scholars, senior citizens, and non-government organizations.
Among the issues raised were on referrals and patient referral concerns, no-balance billing, and benefits for senior citizens, Provincial Health Officer I Dr. Meliarazon Dulay said.
Hospitals in the province are categorized into infirmary and levels 1 and 2. Often patients with more serious conditions are referred to bigger hospitals because of lack of facilities or specialists for such cases.
Considered as infirmary hospitals are Itogon District Hospital, Kapangan District Hospital and the Northern Benguet District Hospital. They are allowed to deliver services of hospitals according to regional standards of the Department of Health, said Dulay.
Level 1 hospitals are Dennis Molintas Hospital and Atok District Hospital which have medical specialists for Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, Obstetrics-gynecology (OB-Gyne), Surgery and Anesthesia. They need not be departmentalized and can undergo services like surgery with the presence of specialist.
Benguet General Hospital (BeGH) is the only accredited Level 2 hospital which is required to be departmentalized with minimum clinical services on Surgical, Pediatrics, OB-Gyne, Medicine, and Anesthesia. The hospital is operating as and economic enterprise after it was deveolced to the Benguet provincial government by virtue of Republic Act 7160 or the Local Government Code of 1991
By DOH standards, there is a need for additional manpower and other facilities and equipment in the different hospitals in the province. Initial plans of the district hospitals are to strengthen existing services and to provide lacking services with the help of DOH.
Part of the forum was the presentation of hospital accomplishments and services in line with the Universal Health Care (UHC). With the passage of the UHC, the primary care provider helps patients navigate the health system for treatment and health concerns to ensure that they receive the proper care needed, said Dulay.
Dr. Nora Ruiz, PHO head, shared that the forum was in response to the clamor of local chief executives to provide a venue to keep abreast local government units and concerned sectors hospital services and raise issues and concerns affecting delivery of services of hospitals in the province to ensure better quality and accessibility. (JDP/SCA-PIA-CAR, Benguet)