By LITO RULONA
THE city hall-run JR Borja Memorial General Hospital won’t likely have an intensive care unit this year or the next.
The hospital’s assistant chief, Dr. Ma. Magdalena Juan, told the city council’s committee on finance and appropriations, and committee on ways and means on Wednesday that the plan is to make the ICU operational by 2019.
Juan said this after councilors asked her about the status of the city hospital’s intensive care facilities.
Councilors said some P120 million was appropriated for the planned ICU in the hospital’s budget for this year.
But Juan said, “Actually, the real scenario is that we are targeting to operate an ICU by 2019 pa.”
There are requirements for the ICU and the hospital is still working to comply, Juan said.
She said the hospital would need a license to operate an ICU, and that can only happen with a regular ICU staff of physicians and nurses.
Juan also clarified that the P120-million supplemental fund approved by the city council was for “medicines and other hospital equipment,” and not specified for intensive care facilities.
Councilor Ma. Lourdes Gaane, a physician by profession, has sought a halt to the hiring of more city hospital workers so the institution could use funds to upgrade its facilities.
Gaane maintained that the P120 million was approved by the city council for the purpose of providing a well-equipped ICU at the city hospital.
She said the budget of some city hall offices like the City Health Insurance Office was reduced so that the city hospital could set up its own intensive care facilities.
Juan however explained that an ICU was not specified in the allocation description. She said it was intended for the “upgrading of health facilities.”
Councilor Edna Dahino said it would be “shameful” to approve the creation of 48 new city hospital positions when it could not yet provide an ICU.
“Dugay na kini kaayo. Ngano nga wala pa kini maatiman? Mura lugar kamo og na-misquote. Daghan ang nag-paabot kanus-a kini nila avail diha sa city hospital,” Dahino said.