COA: Guimaras hospital lacks license to operate

By Gerome Dalipe

THE Nueva Valencia District Hospital (NVDH) in Guimaras province cannot operate as a hospital.

This, after the Department of Health downgraded the NVDH from an infirmary facility to an out-patient department for failure to renew its license to operate.

The development prevented the facility’s mission to deliver “effective and efficient basic health services that are affordable, acceptable, available, and accessible to all Guimarasnon,” the Commission on Audit (COA) said.

Republic Act 9160 provides the functions and responsibilities of Local Government Units (LGUs), such as the delivery of basic services and facilities.

For a province, among these is the provision of 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.

It aims to provide effective and efficient delivery of basic health services which is affordable, acceptable, available and accessible to all Guimarasnons.

In their 2018 annual report, the auditors 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 that there was no disbursement made between February and December 2018.

The health facility personnel told auditors that they could not admit patients because of their license to operate (LTO) 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.

Likewise, 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 in order to avail of health services.

“The non-renewal of LTO of the NVDH has greatly affected its operations and the achievement of its mission, which is to deliver effective and efficient basic health services that are affordable, acceptable, available and accessible to all Guimarasnons,” read the COA report.

In the report, the auditors asked the governor to look into the requirements needed for the renewal of the LTO of the NVDH.

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

Replying to the report, the NVDH officer-in-charge said that they already applied as an infirmary facility last 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.