LEGAZPI CITY – Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Sarte Salceda has hailed a recent decision by the Department of Health (DOH) to make the Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital (BRTTH) in this city as one of its ‘specialized (medical) centers’ outside Metro Manila by 2025.
DOH Officer In Charge Maria Rosario Vergeire announced last week their agency’s plan of putting up “specialized centers” in at least seven public hospitals outside of Metro Manila in the next three years, for neonatal illnesses as well as heart, lung, kidney, and cancer diseases.
Salceda, chair of the House Ways and Means Committee, who had continuously pushed for the BRTTH expansion and modernization, said choosing BRTTH is a welcome news, since his office has already invested so much time and had sourced out funds to put up many health equipment in the facility to uplift its standards.
“We will keep fighting for the BRTTH modernization for quality and expanded well-being services,” Salceda stressed.
He said the BRTTH, even with its limited capacity and resources in the past, has been expanding its services to meet the health demands of Bicolanos, and to cope with the DOH mandate for it to become the Heart, Lung, Kidney Center and recently as Cancer center in the Bicol Region.
Currently, Salceda said, the BRTTH Heart, Lung, Kidney and Cancer centers cater to the entire region, being the sole comprehensive health service provider to address chronic illnesses.
BRTTHs’ recent conversion into a general and sub-specialty hospital with 800-bed capacity was made possible by RA 11719, which was authored by Salceda himself, and signed by former President Rodrigo Duterte.
Now dubbed as the ‘PGH of the South,’ Salceda referred to the BRTTH conversion as among his most significant accomplishments since its services now go beyond Albay’s second Congressional district which he represents.
Situated in the Legazpi City, the facility now services more and more patients coming from Albay, Sorsogon, Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte and the island provinces of Masbate and Catanduanes.
The lawmaker said he had strived hard to help equip BRTTH with various vital facilities including its PhilHealth Ward, P580-million equipment modernization; P400-million Trauma ER; P150-million Bicol Cancer Institute, P80-million MRI now on dry run, the P1.7- billion 600-bed capacity building now under construction, the P78-million full rehabilitation from the devastation of Typhoon Reming in 2006, and later its Bicol Regional Heart Center.
OIC Vergeire said the DOH last year started its P15-billion Philippine Health Facility Development Program, which aims to strengthen the healthcare system of various medical institutions in rural areas.
Among the DOH’s specialized centers currently in operation are the Philippine Heart Center, Lung Center of the Philippines, the National Kidney and Transplant Institute, and the Philippine Children’s Medical Center, all of which are in Quezon City.