CALAMBA CITY, Laguna, Sep 22 (PIA) - Residents of Calamba would soon have access to affordable medical services and 'world class' health care facilities as its city government is finally turning its commitment of having an own hospital into reality.
On September 16, Mayor Justin Marc Chipeco and the Advanced Medical Systems Incorporated (AMSI) have entered into a joint venture agreement for the establishment of the Calamba City Hospital.
The signing of the JV agreement which was witnessed by the City Councilors and officials of the AMSI commenced a new milestone for the city government as a giant leap towards strengthening the city's health care system.
"This project has been in my heart and mind for the longest time. But as you all know, there are a lot of difficulties that I have to study before I could start this project," Chipeco said.
The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic which has since then posed challenges to health care system of local governments prompted the city government to finally push through with the project.
The plan for the establishment of the Calamba City Hospital has already been in place since last year, however Chipeco stressed that it took some time to proceed with the project as they undergone series of consultations.
Citing experiences of other local government units in managing a hospital, Chipeco said the city government opted to enter into a public-private partnership scheme so that its operations would be effectively managed and maintained.
The current situation and difficulties encountered by government hospitals in terms of facilities, physicians, and personnel have led the City Government of Calamba to forged partnership with the AMSI, a medical corporation which also manages the privately-owned Calamba Doctors Hospital located in the city.
"As I have said it is so easy to build the structure of the hospital but the difficult really is how to manage it effectively and efficiently," the City Mayor stressed.
Under the JV agreement, the City Government will fund the construction of the hospital in a 2,029-hectare lot donated by the AMSI. The operations meanwhile, including putting up necessary facilities and personnel will be jointly shared by the city government and the AMSI.
City Councilor Ma. Virginia 'Gigi' Alcasid, chairperson of the Committee on Health, said the second-level hospital primarily targets to meet the health care needs of Calambenos residing in upland communities.
According to Alcasid, the access of residents living in upland areas to health care facilities has prompted them to put the Calamba City Hospital at a strategic location in Barangay Canlubang.
"Marami ng private hospital sa low land areas kaya ang pinaka-target nating ay 'yung mga nakatira sa malalayong lugar at ang Canlubang ang pinaka-magandang lugar na nakita doon," Alcasid said in Radyo Calambeno program.
"Last year pa pinaplano itong Calamba City Hospital. Hindi naging madali ang planning at decision making kaya makakasiguro ang mga Calambeno na lahat ay makikinabang sa proyektong ito," she added.
Alcasid who called the Calamba City Hospital a project in progress said the Calamba City is the first local government unit in the country to enter into a JV agreement for the establishment of a hospital.
The construction of the first phase of the Calamba City Hospital is expected to start by first quarter next year. (FSC)