By ALFREDO P HERNANDEZ
THE overseas workers from Mambulao and their families should vigorously support the hospital cooperative Jose Panganiban Primary Hospital Cooperative Services (JPPHSC).
There are many reasons why they should.
Aside from patronizing the co-op’s services, they should also invest into it, if not for the increasing dividends it pays to the co-owners yearly, but for the vital services it could give in the future to the growing number of people in the municipality.
And their families could be among them.
To date, it is the only millionaire co-op in the province of CamNorte that actively deals with the people’s health – whether they are well-off or poor.
In its present status as medical and healthcare facility, JPPHS’s prospects of improving its services are truly great.
And once the planned P2 million-second floor unit is installed, as expected to happen next year, the town’s primary hospital will be upgraded to Level 1, through which – under the law -- would be able to expand its products that would now include clinical services in general medicine, pediatrics, OB-Gyne and surgery.
As Level 1 health facility, JPPHSC would also be able to provide ancillary services such us isolation service emergency and out-patient services, surgical, maternity services, dental clinic, blood station, secondary and clinical laboratory, first level X-ray and pharmacy.
Each of these services would require relevant medical practitioners, nurses and medical staff.
With these services hoped to begin towards the end of next year, the community is fully assured that their needs for healthcare and medical attention would be served more effectively.
Simply said, a patient would no longer have to take a 45-minute ride to the provincial capital of Daet for the needed treatment because such would be readily on hand in Mambulao.
Based on its financial statement at the end of 2013, JPPHSC, it posted a net surplus (also known as net income) of P4.49 million, which was 349.11% better than the P1 million it earned in 2012.
This alone was one proof that the co-op as health facility is getting the right management from the cooperative board of directors and officers, down to the medical staff, cooks, carpenters and laundrywomen.
At present, there are 40 regular employees with three medical staff – a visiting physician, a pharmacist and an X-ray technologist – on contractual arrangement.
And the outreach program the co-op worked over the past five years showcased capability to look into the needs of the community in terms of healthcare, health practices, health awareness and assistance to the indigents.
The periodic visit of the hospital’s health team to baranggays had afforded it (health team) to determine any threat of morbidity in the neighborhood, through which it was able to advice on how the residents could prevent potential occurrence in their families.
It goes without saying that a facility assuring the wellness of the people would continue to receive the valuable patronage, thus ensuring its continued profitable operations.
And this facility is growing physically.
Its assets expanded to P17.12 million, up 49%, or P5.6 million, from P11.49 million the previous year.
Such assets included hospital building and medical equipment that have been keys to providing appropriate treatment to the co-op’s patients – whether they are in-patients or those who just walk in to be served.
(I remember about four years ago when, during my brief vacation in Parang, I limped into to this facility with a broken bone in my left leg after a freak accident at the farm. I was immediately attended to by no less than Dr Amador C Salen, the medical director, and sent me to the X-ray unit housed in the adjacent quarters. Since there was no orthopedic service here, I had to go to Daet to get my leg put in a cast.)
And what’s more: Because of its impressive performance over the past five years from 2009, the 627 investors/co-owners chipped in more money to bring the total share capital to P7.3 million at the end of last year, from the previous year’s only P4.72 million. This reflected an increase of P2.55 million, or 54%.
This showed that the co-op’s co-owners did not only want to earn modest dividends from their money, but also would like to see JPPHSC morphed into a better hospital for their kababayan.
Through is modest facilities, the hospital was able to served more than 3,000 patients last year, during which 75 babies were born.
But this facility has to expand from where it is now, with the corresponding upgrade in its medical expertise to deal with increasing in health problems that normally threaten a progressing community such as Mambulao.
To boost the hospital’s pre-natal services, Mayor Dong Padilla outsourced one vital equipment – an ultrasound – along with the technician.
This facility offered low-cost service to poor mothers, which became the first of its kind in the province two years ago.
Likewise, Meyor Dong enlisted them to PhilHealth, assuring that the cost of their delivery was already taken care of under the institution’s healthcare program.
At the co-op’s annual general assembly held last March, board chair Priscilla G Mariano exhorted the members to support the facility.
She asked them: What will happen should we fail to build the second floor unit of our hospital by 2015 as required by the government?
“We will remain just a primary hospital, instead of rising to the Level 1 category where we can provide expanded services to the community.”
Mariano said that Philhealth will cut by 30% the funding benefits it was giving to JPPHSC, which simply means that the facility is backsliding, not progressing.
She asked again: “Do we have to move forward … or slide back?”
This is very easy to understand.
Level 1 category, which is what the co-op hospital is aspiring for, would mean better delivery of health care services to those who have money to pay and to the indigents.
That’s why the board appropriated at least P2 million from its surplus fund to finance the second floor segment, a move that had been made expediently backed by sufficient net surplus.
A primary hospital such as the JPPHSC that is faced with a growing population with more and more complicated health issues deserves the support of Mambulaoans, especially the OFWs.
After all, when you all come home – retired and otherwise -- you will need to look after your health, using up most of what you have stashed in the bank.
This is to make sure you have continued supply of maintenance drugs, regular checkups, proper healthcare advice, and so on and so forth, just to make sure all your vitals are alright.
But towards your advancing years in retirement when your health issues would become more complex, a modernized facility within your reach such as the JPPHSC could tell you without batting an eyelash: Sir, Ma’am, with us, you’re in good hands.
That’s all you need to hear.
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