Local capacity for health care services delivery is expected to improve significantly as city government-run SM Lao Memorial Hospital completes its facilities upgrading program.
Underway is the construction of a three-storey building that will boost the hospital’s bed and clinical services capacities. It is funded by a P30M grant from the Department of Health (DOH).
While construction is ongoing, the hospital also upgraded its equipment through the acquisition of machines that aid in medical diagnosis. These include Ultrasound, Cardiac Monitor, Pulse Oxymeter, Autoclave Machine, Suction Apparatus, and Electrocardiogram (ECG).
At present, SM LAO Hospital is capable of undertaking minor and major surgery; anesthesiology, pediatric, obstetric-gynecology, and internal medicine services. It has also radiologic and laboratory services, and a pharmacy.
Apart from a building grant, the Department of Health also provided P5M for improvement of the puericulture center that boosted the local capacity for child delivery service for pregnant women.
The facilities upgrade at SM Lao Hospital will complement the local government’s continued investment into premium sponsorhip of some 10,000 indigents with the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (Philhealth).
For 2012, the local government shelled out P6M to finance the indigents’ Philhealth premiums. On the one hand, this investment has eased the indigent families’ financial burden of availing hospital care. On the other hand, this has also eased the pressure on public hospitals to subsidize the costs of providing health care service to these clients.
In addition, the improved service capacity of SM Lao Hospital will expectedly contribute to solving the problem of over-occupancy at the Mayor Hilarion A. Ramiro Sr. Regional Training and Teaching Hospital (MHARS-RTTH) which is operated by the Department of Health.