BMC: The Road to Becoming the Largest Highly-Specialized Hospital in South Luzon

Naga City, Bicol - Like 2020, 2021 was a challenging year for the Bicol Medical Center. It experienced two COVID-19 surges in the third and final quarters of the year, the increased demand for High-Flow Cannula Machines for COVID-19 patients, and the challenges in mass hiring to keeping up with the manpower complement. Although it is good to remember and list down all the setbacks of the hospital organization, a look back is better with the obstacles it overcame and the opportunities it gained in achieving its new vision of becoming the largest highly-specialized hospital in South Luzon.

Being the Largest Hospital in South Luzon Photo: Jayson Petate

After 25 years of being a 500-bed hospital, the Republic Act 11478 signed in July 2020 expanded the hospital's bed capacity to 1000. This new law enabled BMC to become the largest hospital in South Luzon. However, this new mandate entails that through the help of the Philippine government, particularly the Department of Health, BMC has to upgrade its service facilities and professional health care services. This also means that BMC has to level up its game, particularly its hiring process to provide specialized healthcare services.

Since the last quarter of 2020, the hospital's Human Resource Management Office (BMC - HRMO) has embraced the importance of digital technology in ensuring that vacant positions are widely disseminated. With the help of the newly formed Communications Team, the BMC - HRMO regularly posts its job vacancies through the Job Vacancy Portal on its website and its official social media accounts.

Last year, BMC appointed 553 permanent personnel. In its effort to decrease the number of Job Order Workers (JOW) is set to process 808 plantilla positions this 2022. With the expanding number of personnel, BMC belongs to government organizations with the largest number of employees in the Bicol Region with a total of 2488 permanent and Job Order Workers.

The DOH - Health Facilities and Services Regulatory Bureau granted BMC its License-to-Operate (LTO) as a 1000-bed DOH-retained hospital.

Becoming a Highly-Specialized Hospital in South Luzon

Apart from the new law, BMC received an additional mandate from the Department of Health. Through Department Order No. 2021-001, released in January 2021, DOH charged BMC with 12 Specialty Centers.. Immediately and with urgency, BMC incorporated this added mandate into its Strategic Position. As a result, by 2025, BMC will have nine Basic Comprehensive Specialty Centers and five Advanced Comprehensive Specialty Centers.

By 2025, BMC will have nine Basic Comprehensive Specialty Centers and five Advanced Comprehensive Specialty Centers.

Newborn Hearing ScreeningCancer
DermatologyEmerging and Re-Emerging Infectious Disease
CardiacMental Health/Psychiatry
NeonatalRenal Care & Transplant
OrthopedicsTrauma & Burns
Poison Control 
Physical Rehabilitation Medicine 
Brain & Spine 


BMC started in 2020 with seven Basic Comprehensive Specialty Centers: Kidney Transplant, Mental Health & Psychiatry, Poison Control, Newborn Hearing Screening, Dermatology, and Cancer.

Last year, BMC made the Mental Health and Psychiatry a Basic Comprehensive Specialty Center. In February 2021, BMC inaugurated its modern and state-of-the-art mental facility.

Apart from its dedicated and competent medical staff, it houses the only Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS) Machine in the Philippines. The TMS is used as a therapeutic non-invasive treatment for patients suffering from Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), Schizophrenia, and other behavioral conditions.

Eight months after, BMC opened its Cardiac Center to address the increasing deaths related to Ischemic heart disease. The BMC Cardiac Center now offers Cardiovascular Surgery, Cardiac Catheterization (both diagnostics and intervention), and Non-invasive tests (including Cardiovascular Echo, Stress Test, Ambulatory Blood Pressure Monitoring, Holter Test, and Electrocardiogram (ECG).

And for this year, 2022, BMC is set to establish one Basic Comprehensive Specialty Centers — Neonatal Specialty Center. In achieving the new vision of becoming a highly-specialized tertiary hospital, BMC is guided by a framework for governance reform called the Performance Governance System.

Commitment to the Performance Governance System

In 2019, BMC was one of the DOH-retained hospitals that immediately started the Performance Governance System (PGS) journey. With the adoption of the PGS, in November of 2019, BMC presented in a public revalida in Manila its governance reform plans and strategies, led by then OIC-Medical Center Chief, Dr. Francisco Sales III. As a result, the hospital not only passed the Initiation Stage in 2019, but it also received the Gold Trailblazer Award, which is the highest honor in Stage I of the Performance Governance System. The recognition serves as a motivation and validation for the hospital to continue its transformation story for the community it serves.

As BMC moved towards the second stage of the Performance Governance System (Compliance Stage), the hospital strongly needed support, guidance, and partners; thus, the BMC - Multi-Sectoral Governance Council (BMC-MSGC) was established. The BMC-MSGC proactively assists the hospital in realizing its strategic direction and monitors its deliverables. The Council also helps strengthen existing linkages and forging new partnerships with other stakeholders to attain BMC's governance reforms.

Instead of a Public Revalida like in 2019, the PGS Revalida was done online due to the pandemic. Again, BMC's Medical Center Chief II, Dr. Francisco Sales III, represented the hospital. After careful deliberation from the panel, BMC was granted Compliant Status with another Gold Trailblazer Award.

Today, BMC is working on the next PGS stage - the Proficiency Status with its new leader 14th Medical Center Chief Dr. Ronnie Gregorio B. Gigantone. With the Executive Committee, Management Committee, Specialty Center Heads, hospital's medical and support staff, BMC upholds the #forBetterMedicalCare in serving patient-centered healthcare services for a healthier and more resilient Bicolanos.