Politics behind Toledo City hospital mess?

POLITICS may have been behind the failure to approve an annual budget for Toledo City’s hospital, an official said yesterday.

Toledo City Acting Mayor Antonio Yapha accused suspended Mayor John Henry “Sonny” Osmeña of ordering the City Council to derail the approval of his proposed P1.2-billion annual budget for this year, which includes a P2-million budget for the salaries of job-order ( JO) workers.

But Osmeña accused Yapha of committing a “cruel political ploy” for not renewing the services of the 120 JO workers assigned to the Toledo City Hospital.

Yapha, though, told reporters that Osmeña shouldn’t fault him for failing to pass this year’s annual budget.

Yapha alleged that the City Council, on Osmeña’s orders, wants to sabotage his work as acting mayor.

“Kanang wala pag-uyon sa mga konsehal sa budget nga among giuyonan sa City Development Council, gusto nilang ipakita sa katawhan nga si Dr. Yapha, nga nag-acting mayor ug usa ka buwan ug usa ka tuig, walay nahimo (The councilors’ failure to approve the budget, which we had agreed on in the City Development Council, is part of an attempt to make it appear that Dr. Yapha, as acting mayor for a year and a month, hasn’t done anything),” he said.

But Osmeña, in a statement posted on his Facebook page, accused Yapha of “spreading fake news” that the council was beissuance hind the non-renewal of services of the JO workers.

“The report that the City Council ‘ordered’ the separation of 120 nursing JOs is another fake news intended to blame the SP (Sangguniang Panlungsod) for the failure of Yapha to show leadership,” he said.

As both officials bickered on the matter, services in the Toledo City Hospital continue but in a diminished state.

Toledo City Hospital chief Dr. Bonito Sanoria said there are only five doctors, eight nurses, and two midwives left to keep the hospital afloat.

Sanoria said, though, that their current number of personnel is sufficient since the hospital is classified as an infirmary, based on the Department of Health’s (DOH) criteria.

This means that they can only admit 12 patients.

Following orders from City Hall, Sanoria said they also transferred some health units in the hospital to the City Health Office such as the Animal Bite Center and TB-DOTS due to lack of personnel.

They also started referring patients to other hospitals such as the Jose Borromeo Memorial District Hospital in Pinamungajan, which is 12 kilometers away from Toledo City.

Some were also referred to the Balamban Provincial Hospital, which is located 19 kilometers away from the city.

For the worst cases, Sanoria said they are referring these to the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMCC) in Cebu City.

Sanoria hopes that the City Council will approve the annual budget soon so that the hospital’s services will be restored.(JKV)