Expansion of BGH dialysis center proposed

BAGUIO CITY  – The City Council approved a resolution requesting the Department of Health (DOH) to pursue the planned expansion of the dialysis unit of the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC) from a 30 machine capacity to a 100-machine facility to accommodate the steadily growing number of patients needing twice or thrice a week dialysis to survive.

The resolution authored by Councilor Peter Fianza stated that the number of patients trooping to the BGHMC dialysis center for the expensive dialysis treatment is steadily increasing as can be seen from the rising number of patients trooping to the center daily, many hoping that they would be accommodated with one or two of the regular patients skipping their sessions due to inadequate finances.

The resolution noted that officials of the health department recently visited the BGHMC and saw the urgent need to increase the 30 existing dialysis machine capacity of the center to effectively accommodate the steadily growing number of patients seeking such life-saving procedure from one of the major hospitals in Northern Luzon.

In briefing before the DOH representatives, Carmen Bumatnong of the hemodialysis unit of the medical center pointed out that as of November last year, the center was serving 239 patients from the Cordillera and 146 patients coming from Regions I, II, III and IV.

Further, Bumatnong claimed that patients undergoing lifetime dialysis treatment prefer, if they get the chance, to have the life-saving procedure at the BGHMC, because of its competitive rate of P2,200 per session, half of that which is charged in other centers in the lowlands, because of its authority to accept guarantee letters from the members of Congress and the Sangguniang Panlungsod of the city allowing the hospital to charge the cost of dialysis to their congressional or legislative medical funds and the high quality of service and competence of the nurses and medical staff manning the BGHMC dialysis center.

The resolution emphasized the BGHMC dialysis center, which started operating in February 1995 as a 5-machine facility with support from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), has grown into a 30-machine service center operating at 4 shifts of 4 hours each to accommodate more patients coming from all over Luzon.

The resolution claimed there are more patients wanting to undergo dialysis treatment in the said facility because of the cheaper cost of the treatment but they could not do so because of the continues increase in the number of patients seeking the similar treatment, thus, the ultimate remedy to the situation is for the provision of additional units of dialysis treatment machines to increase the center’s capacity to attend to the increase in individuals wanting to be treated in the said hospital.

The resolution underscored it is important for the government to consider sustaining the improvements of health facilities in the different parts of the country so that patients wanting to be treated for whatever illnesses will be given sufficient attention by medical experts in the said areas.

By Dexter A. See

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