Naga City - The year 2020 gave both challenges and milestones for the Bicol Medical Center (BMC).
In the first quarter of the year, BMC had to respond immediately and effectively to the threats of the COVID-19 pandemic. Several hospital management's initiatives were the early establishment of the COVID-19 Hotline and the Pay-ward Building's conversion to the dedicated ward for COVID-19 patients. The Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Disease (EREID) Ward was given a dedicated triage area, an Emergency Room, Operating Room, Hemodialysis Services, and an Intensive Care Unit.
BMC was early in implementing the zoning of facilities, which was proven to be an effective infection control measure. The Zoning initiative managed to function as a tertiary hospital and deliver its services, with a separate COVID-19 ward. The COVID-19 Testing Facility called the GeneXpert Laboratory was promptly set-up. Thanks to the Department of Health's full-support and the adeptness of BMC's medical technologists, who were first takers in the proficiency examination for COVID Laboratory licensing.
Lastly, the hospital's close coordination with various Local Government Units, Epidemiology Surveillance Units, and Non-Government Organizations effectively managed the COVID-19 cases in the Camarines Provinces, including Naga City.
BMC's Medical Center Chief Dr. Francisco Sales III shares what the hospital is doing to continuously address the pandemic.
"We truly appreciate all the help we have received from the facemasks and PPEs, logistics, and resources. As well as your well-wishes and prayers in support of our front liners, we thank all of you. We are all grateful to all of you and your respective agencies and organizations." Dr. Sales added.
Bicol Medical Center Chief Dr. Francisco Sales III shares the hospital's wins and challenges for 2020.
For the past 5 years, the Bicol Medical Center's patient census increased from 33,000 in 2015 to 44,549 in 2019.
In 2019 alone, the bed occupancy rate of the hospital reached up to 194.82%. This overwhelming congestion resulted in client dissatisfaction. Given the challenges of the year 2020, the request for an increased bed capacity was finally granted. The Duterte administration, through the help of concerned lawmakers, passed the Republic Act 11478, which increases the hospital's bed capacity from 500 to 1000.
While waiting for the implementation guidelines, budget from the new law, and the License to Operate as a 1000-bed, BMC operates as a 500-bed tertiary hospital. Yet, there is an increasing census or patient confinement amid a pandemic, starting September. Despite the current limited bed capacity and personnel, compounded by the pandemic, the hospital does not refuse anyone who needs patient care.
The first formal meeting of the Bicol Medical Center’s Multi-Sectoral Governance Council was held last December 2, 2020. It was initiated by the Office of Strategy Management, headed by Dr. Edgardo Paredes.
These stories of wins and challenges were shared at the first formal meeting of the Bicol Medical Center's Multi-Sectoral Governance Council, held on Wednesday, December 2, 2020. The gathering was attended by representatives from various sectors, such as:
- Department of Health-Camarines Sur.
- Department of Education-Camarines Sur.
- Provincial Health Officers of Camarines Sur and Camarines Norte.
- 9th Infantry Division.
- Bicol Consortium for Health Research and Development.
- Provincial Government of Camarines Sur.
- League of Municipalities of the Philippines-Camarines Sur.
- Local Government of Naga.
- Philippine Information Agency - Camarines Sur
- Rotary Club of Naga.
Dr. Natalie Lazaro, head of BMC’s Public Health Unit, introduced to the MSGS members the Referral System that is being developed to facilitate and strengthen patient care navigation within the Camarines Provinces, including Naga City.
Following the physical distancing protocol, some BMC-MSGC participants attended online.
Each member of the MSGC has expressed their support to BMC's goals and roadmaps indicated in its Performance Governance System. On the part of BMC, it conveyed its continuous commitment to extend support and capacitate the health care providers to improve the Camarines provinces' health care system.
These strengthened partnerships of BMC with the various sectors through the MSGC will hopefully, produce immediate results that will benefit the community it serves.