LEGAZPI CITY – The Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital (BRTTH) here has thanked Albay 2nd district Rep. Joey Sarte Salceda, for facilitating funds support to its Medical Assistance for Indigent Patients (MAIP) program, which has served – among others – some 10,888 Covid-19 patients for 2020-2021.
In a recent letter to Salceda, Dr. Eric Raymond N. Raborar, BRTTH Medical Chief, said that through MAIP, they have achieved significant feats in 2021, notwithstanding the challenges imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic.”
“…We would like to express our heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to you for all the assistance you have been extending to BRTTH and our patients during this national health emergency. . . . With your unconditional support to BRTTH and to the MAIP, we are able to provide medical assistance to both COVID and non-COVID patients, especially those who cannot afford the costs of healthcare services offered by private institutions,” Dr. Reborar stressed in his letter.
Salceda has in turn thanked the BRTTH “for recognizing our 2D (2nd District) Covid Response Team and our 2D commitment of MAIP funds for Covid treatment,” For its pandemic response, the BRTTH – with 250 to a peak of 300 bed capacity – has received over P135 million in 2021. It has spent a total of P431,832.232, with P187,235,956.86 in PhilHealth claims and P140,272,464.63 in receivables.
The BRTTH was converted into a ‘purely COVID Hospital facility’ on September 15, 2021, accepting only critical, severe and moderate Covid cases, and highly critical and complex non-COVID medical cases. To expand its response to the pandemic, BRTTH has likewise activated its Triangle Response Team with its three district hospitals — Ziga Memorial District Hospital, the Legazpi City Hospital, and the Josefina Belmonte-Duran Albay Provincial Hospital in the first, second and third districts of the province, respectively.
Under its pandemic response, all patients have been extended free services and medicines, laboratory tests (MRI, CT scan, X-RAY), as well as free 24/7 access to BRTTH BioMed technicians for medical equipment calibration and internal access to its operations center. The BRTTH 2021 accomplishment report shows the institution has helped downgrade the pandemic in Albay by 65%.
Albay’s vaccination initiative, as of December 23 had hit 731,523 or 70 percent of its herd immunity population target. Of the total, 73% had their first and second doses, while 37% had yet to get their second dose. Records show Legazpi City in the 2nd diatrict, had registered 108% vaccination accomplishment, which suggests it has served non-residents, while Tabaco City in the first dietrict, scored 63%.
Salceda has continuously helped the BRTTH to better address and serve the health and medical concerns of the Bicol region. He had filed various proposals in Congress to upgrade the medical facility and expand its capacity.
House Bill 8856, which he filed in 2019, aims to upgrade the over 100-year old BRTTH, which now stands as the ‘Philippine General Hospital of Southern Luzon,’ so it can ably cater to more patients from Albay, Sorsogon, and the island provinces of Masbate and Catanduanes, many of whom are disadvantaged by the travel distance and the rising costs of medical facilities in Metro Manila.
Even with its limited capacity and resources, Salceda said BRTTH has been expanding its services to meet the health demands of Bicolanos and live up to its DOH mandate for it to serve as the combined ‘Heart, Lung, Kidney, and Cancer center’ in the Bicol region. “As such, BRTTH caters to the entire Bicol region, being the sole service provider against these chronic illnesses, and is therefore expected to cope with increasing patients in the coming years,” he added.
Salceda said BRTTH has also upgraded its accreditation with the PHIC Z benefits in pursuit of its goal under the Philippine Health Agenda 2016-2022 of “All for Health Towards Health for All.”
A former US army barracks hospital, BRTTH is geographically located at the center of the Bicol region. It has been an ISO-certified institution since 2012, and is currently working on its Strategic Plans as a premier health facility based on the Philippine Governance System.