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COA: Guimaras hospital lacks license to operate

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Failure to renew its license to operate has cost the Nueva Valencia District Hospital (NVDH) in Guimaras province its status as an infirmary facility.

The Department of Health downgraded the NVDH from an infirmary facility to an out-patient department, the Commission on Audit said.

COA said this effectively prevented the facility’s mission to deliver “effective and efficient basic health services that are affordable, acceptable, available, and accessible to all Guimarasnon.” (https://dailyguardian.com.ph/coa-guimaras-hospital-lacks-license-to-operate/)

Under Republic Act 9160, a province is mandated to provide health services which includes hospitals and other tertiary health services.

In Guimaras, the NVDH, an infirmary facility, was built to provide a healthy community with immediate access to affordable and quality health services.

But the COA, in its 2018 report, said the collections of the NVDH from January to November 2018 showed that it mostly came from out-patients.

The majority of the collections for the accommodation also came from PhilHealth payments, the auditors noted.

An audit of the petty cash for food of patients showed there was no disbursement made between February and December 2018.

Health facility personnel told auditors that they could not admit patients because of their license to operate in 2018 was not yet obtained.

The facility’s out-patient department said they were unable to renew their LTO for 2018 for failure to meet the following requirements set by the Department of Health (DOH) as an infirmary facility.

These include human resource requirements, processing of environmental compliance certificate, procurement of delivery light, and functionalization of the water system. Being an out-of-patients department means they cannot admit patients.

Also, one of the doctors of NVDH was reassigned to Buenavista Emergency Hospital due to a lack of medical doctors to handle the patients there. The transfer of one doctor had also affected the operations of the NVDH.

The hospital caters to the health needs of the people particularly in the area of Barangay Lanipe, Nueva Valencia and other nearby barangays.

With limited health care services, the patients especially those that need to be confined would have to travel a long distance to avail of health services.

It urged the governor to comply with the requirements to effectively discharge its functions especially in the admission of patients as one of its basic health care services.

Meanwhle, the NVDH officer-in-charge said they already applied as an infirmary facility on Feb. 8, 2019.

The DOH licensing team also inspected the hospital last March 7, 2019. The team cited several deficiencies and the hospital said it is currently processing the documents and repairs needed.