Hospital upgrade continues

THE Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC), now celebrating its centennial year, has always been in the service of the people in Mindanao with continuous facility improvement and expansion of buildings to address the growing needs of patients seeking quality and effective hospital-based medical service.

SPMC chief training officer Ma. Elinore Alba-Concha, MD, FPAFP, said they recently completed and improved the following infrastructure:

- The establishment of Palliative and Hospice Care Unit for both adult and children who are in dying condition but want to stay under the hospital care;

- The establishment of the Airborne Infection Isolation Control Unit that is equipped with state-of-the-art computerized technology system to ensure that an airborne infection will not spread out;

- The renovation of the Neuro-surgical Intensive Care Unit that has now a total of 35 beds and air conditioned, and;

- The expansion of the general emergency room that is now equipped with 100 beds for both surgical and medical emergencies.

"With Dr. Leopoldo J. Vega as the hospital chief, SPMC has now improved services and facilities to offer to people and it does not stop there. There are still upcoming buildings and expansions that will bring more comfort to all our patients," Dr. Alba-Concha said.

One of the soon-to-rise buildings in SPMC is the Maternal and Child Unit -- a four-storey building worth P130 million with 200-bed capacity, a big improvement from the current 80 maternal beds inside the hospital ward.

It will also offer a Milk Bank for mothers who want to donate breast milk to feed babies whose mothers have a problem lactating. Also, it will have its own emergency room for delivering mothers, separating them from other cases inside the main emergency room.

Dr. Alba-Concha said the Maternal and Child Building is Dr. Vega's answer to lessen the mother and newborn child mortality rate in the region. The building is now 90 percent complete as of August 3 and is expected to operate toward the end of the year.

Another building to rise just beside the Maternal and Child Building is the Orthopedics Center, which will have 250 beds as the current orthopedics area in the hospital ward, only has 80 beds. The budget for this building is pegged at P165 million.

“With this new Orthopedics Center, we can now perform Leg Prosthesis or the restoration of the amputated legs with comprehensive and customized prosthetic leg solutions,” Concha said.

The construction of the Orthopedic Center will also provide another emergency room solely for orthopedic emergencies. The construction is ongoing and it will be operating on the third quarter of 2018.

The next building planned to be constructed is the Acute Trauma Facility Center. Concha said there is a great need to separate the short-term surgical emergencies from the medical emergency cases inside the hospital’s emergency room because of the increasing number of accident and injury patients.

She said the establishment of the P372 million Acute Trauma Facility Center will provide faster services and will reduce surgical backlogs. The construction will start in the second quarter of 2018 and is expected to operate in the last quarter of 2019.

Also, SPMC will soon have the first Eye Institute in Mindanao. Alba-Concha said this four-storey building will offer various eye treatments and surgeries with a proposed budget worth P350 million. However, there is no precise construction date yet and further details are still being discussed.

Lastly, Concha said SPMC will also be having the Children’s Center that will become the first one-stop hub for Pediatric Medicine in Mindanao with a P400 million proposed budget.

“We want to separate children from the general emergency room and treatment hubs because we all know how vulnerable children are from acquiring infections. We want to decorate the building with child-friendly paintings to encourage children to see that hospitals should not scare them away,” she said.

Alba-Concha said SPMC highly appreciates all the City Government, the Department of Health, and various private donors for supporting all the proposed upgrades in the hospital.