BGHMC bed expansion to 1500 beds sought

BAGUIO CITY – In order to address the hospital’s over-capacity and admit more patients amid current COVID-19 protocols, Baguio City representative Mark Go has filed a bill that seeks to increase the bed capacity of the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC) from 800 to 1500 beds.

Rep. Go filed House Bill 8782, which seeks to add 700 more beds to BGHMC after the hospital was forced to reduce patient admission due to Department of Health (DOH) protocols on the COVID-19 pandemic. From March to December 2020, the hospital’s average occupancy rate was only at 45.33 percent, the lawmaker said.

According to Rep. Go, the hospital records a waiting list of 50 to 100 patients every day due to the limited bed capacity. This hinders BGHMC’s ability and efficiency to provide quality public health services to its patients, of whom 80 percent are indigent, the lawmaker said.

The congressman was also the primary author of RA 11084, which increased BGHMC’s bed capacity from 500 to 800 to address the hospital’s occupancy rate of 144.17 percent.

Rep. Go said that the hospital’s additional 300 beds at the time only accommodated the prevailing situation, and was not equipped to handle any large-scale public health crisis such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

The representative cited BGHMC’s crucial role as a regional apex hospital and premier end-referral center for the Cordilleras and northern Luzon, offering leading-edge specialty services for the aforementioned regions. According to Go, this highlights the need to invest in the hospital’s capacity-building to ensure preparedness and top-notch responsiveness for future public health crises.

“Filipinos from Regions 1, 2, and CAR would no longer have to travel all the way to Metro Manila to avail of quality specialty services, which would entail additional costs and inconvenience to the ordinary people”, the congressman said.

According to Rep. Go, BGHMC is set to fully implement 15 different specialty programs over the next 4 years, including cardiovascular care, renal care and transplant, lung care, brain and spine care, orthopedic center, cancer care, infectious disease and tropical medicine, and mental health, among others. The hospital also trains 211 residents over 16 specialized fields.

Rep. Go said that with the passage of the bill, he hopes that BGHMC will be able to cater to more patients with specialized needs without compromising the quality of its services.  Go adds that the bed capacity increase is an investment in an institution that continuously innovates in its services, offers comprehensive training programs, and engages in research to provide outstanding healthcare to the public.