Senate OKs House bill converting WV Sanitarium to Level 2 General Hospital

PHOTO CAPTION: Iloilo 2nd district Rep. Mike Gorriceta (inset) successfully herded House Bill 8893 to the joint legislative hearings, with the Senate recently approving the conversion of the Western Visayas Sanitarium to a Level 2 General Hospital to be called the Western Visayas Sanitarium and General Hospital./iNEWS (N. Glenn Aragon/Photos courtesy of congress.gov.ph and iNEWS file photo)

ILOILO–House Bill No. 8893, or the bill converting the Western Visayas Sanitarium into a Level 2 General Hospital, did not face any opposition from members of the Senate and was, in fact, unanimously approved by the Upper House of Congress during the joint committee hearing on the subject last September 13.

This was the recent confirmation made by Iloilo 2nd district Rep. Mike Gorriceta, who sponsored the bill thru the House of Representatives.

According to the young solon, the Senate Committee on Health and Demography immediately approved the measure, leading to the once-treatment station exclusively for leprosy patients to be converted into a general hospital.

The decision to approve the measure, he said, was bolstered by the fact that both the Department of Health (DOH) and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) posed no objection to the conversion initiative.

Because of the legislative approval, Gorriceta averred, the bed capacity of the hospital will double from its previous 150 beds to 300 beds while also getting the thumbs up to hire more medical and support services personnel.

He also said that now that the Western Visayas Sanitarium has been upgraded into a General Hospital, the now Western Visayas Sanitarium and General Hospital can help decongest the West Visayas Medical Center (WVMC) by accepting referrals from other hospitals in the province.

Earlier, the said House bill seeking to upgrade the Western Visayas Sanitarium Hospital in barangays Inangayan and Bolong Oeste in Sta. Barbara into a Level 2 hospital was passed in the Lower House.

To note, the Western Visayas Sanitarium was established in June 1927 as a treatment station for leprosy patients. On May 30, 2005, WVS, by virtue of Administrative Order 2005-0013, expanded its services from just a Leprosarium to a General Hospital providing the five basic major services: Medical, Surgical, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Family Medicine, and Pediatrics. A 50-bed General Hospital Main Building was inaugurated and opened in January 2010 to cater to the fast-growing number of patients.

WVS is now a Level I, 50-bed General Hospital with an Authorized Bed Capacity of 150 for General Care. It is a DOH-retained hospital and is recognized as a Center for Safety by the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PHIC). (N. Glenn Aragon with excerpts from the DOH-WVS website/iNEWS)

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