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Maguindanao provincial hospital, now a transformed health facility

HEALTH • 02:17 AM Sat Sep 5, 2015
Ferdinandh Cabrera
Dr. Tahir Sulaik (center in green and white medical uniform), IPHO-Maguindanao chief, tours guests on Maguindanao Provincial Hospital's new facilities on Sept. 3, 2015. (Photo by Ferdinandh Cabrera)

SHARIFF AGUAK, Maguindanao — After 36-years, the Maguindanao Provincial Hospital (MPH) has evolved from ordinary health facility to what it is now – a state of the art hospital which prioritize peasant farmers.
This after hospital management established new building and health facilities with more physicians and health providers to serve patients. No less than Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) President Alexander Padilla and DOH Undersecretary Paulyn Jean Ubial as special guests of the program on Thursday.
With good management, competent leaders, the hospital is now operating full swing,” Dr. Tahir Sulaik, Maguindanao health chief, told reporters.
Built in Maguindanao’s Datu Hoffer town (formerly part of Shariff Aguak), the newly refurbished and expanded MPH was proud of its new Emergency Room amounting to P8.6 million and has extended other special sections to make it a state-of-the-art, sophisticated and the only level two hospital in Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).
Maguinanao health officials were also present during the inauguration and unveiling of the hospital facility with the capacity of 150 patients and manned by 400 hospital staff, 32 of them are doctors. The construction of new Emergency Room was part of the second phase of hospital improvement coming from the income from Philhealth contributions.
These include holding area for cases of highly contagious diseases, Intensive Care Unit (ICU), Surgery and Trauma sections that will handle mass casualty incidents and women and child protection unit for abused women and children. The poor patients now feel they are no more peasants when they receive government medical services,” Sulaik, also Integrated Provincial Hospital Office chief, said. Here we make them feel equally treated like you get a private hospital service plus you take home free medicine, provided you are a PhilHealth member,” he added.Most of the provincial hospital’s clienteles were poor farmers of Liguasan marsh and Indigenous Peoples from the mountain areas of Maguindanao. But Sulaik stressed he noticed lately that even patients from Lanao del Sur and North Cotabato avail the health services of MPH. Due to increasing number of patients, even semi-private and private rooms are occupied almost every day.
Because its clean here, the services are good, we are comfortable,” according to Kasan Kali, a resident of Aleosan North Cotabato, a guardian of her sister who was confined due to kidney disease. In January this year, IPHO-Maguindanao hospital has opened to the public the P30-million peso rehabilitated hospital building and facilities as part of first phase improvement. The funds were coming from the accumulated payouts income from Philhealth contributions from the past years, according to IPHO chief.
I my decades-long service as government physician, I have been dreaming for this kind of health facility in Maguindanao,” Sulaik said. After hard labor, unceasing efforts and health providers’ support, slowly were realized this kind of facility, a truly realization of journey towards transformation,” Sulaik said. The provincial hospital has modest beginning in 1974 in Shariff Aguak town with only 50-bed capacity and only few medical staff. But it survived many challenges, including the daily huge responsibility of handling enormous number of poor patients who come from poor communities with poor education, more often displaced by man-made and natural calamities in the province.
Of all the places we covered, most of the big new hospitals built were made up of loans but this one is far different,” according to Dr. Ubial, the event guest of honor and speaker.
It should be replicated, its not about how we have obtained funds but also how we manage the hospital with dedication and excellence in management,” Dr. Ubial added.
Presently, Sulaik said, the health facility’s challenge is the source of potable water that supplies the hospital operation. Lately, a water tank was installed at the hospital while water tanker vehicle was also procured to transport water from a spring sources in the nearby towns.
Sulaik said the soldiers are not only providing the health facility security and safety but also provide one of the most important component of health services – blood donations.
They provide us blood so we can fill in the blood back for future mass casualty incidents and scarcity of blood during emergency situation,” Sulaik said.
Padilla has provided the icing on the cake” of the over-all efforts to improve health facilities when he vowed to work for the realization of the third phase of the expansion and improvement of MPH.
That is not far fetched, with the present competent management third phase will hopefully come next year,” Padilla said. (Ferdinandh Cabrera)

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