The Department of Health has confirmed that there exists an acute shortage of hospital beds in Western Visayas with only four hospitals under the direct supervision of the department.
These hospitals include the Western Visayas Medical Center being planned to be privatized or placed under the economic enterprise program, Dona Corazon Locsin Montelibano Hospital in Bacolod City, Iloilo provincial hospital in Pototan, Iloilo and the Jose Tumbokon General Hospital in Kalibo, Aklan.
Dr. Sofia Pulmones, chief of the regional DOH Local Health Support Division, said the ratio is also not ideal with one bed for every 1,000 population.
Guimaras province is critical with one bed for every 3,232 population, followed Antique with one bed for 2,115 population, Negros Occidental with one bed for 1,559 population, Aklan with one bed for 1,405 population and Capiz with one bed for 1,393 population.
The city and province of Iloilo has one bed for every 947 population.
Pulmones said the current Aquino government is embarking on a universal health care program dubbed “Kalusugan Pangkalahatan.” This is to provide improved public health care to all Filipinos during the six years of President Benigno Aquino’s administration.
The health program was launched in 2011 until 2016 that will focus on three strategic thrusts and one of these is improving access to quality health care facility. The program calls for the construction and rehabilitation of health facilities and downloading of funds to the local government units to lead in improving health facilities in the provinces and municipalities.
Pulmones said the local government officials will lead in enhancing and improving health programs in their respective areas with the health department supporting them.