BY GERRY LEE GORIT
CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – The recently held dialogue between representatives from the Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC) and the Misamis Oriental provincial board’s health committee was fruitful as the stakeholders were able to discuss thoroughly all the issues surrounding the government-run hospital.
“The discussion was very healthy, very fruitful. We have come to an understanding to address these issues,” said Provincial Board Member Rey Buhisan, who’s also the Chairman of the Health Committee.
Among the issue discussed were the overcrowding of patients at the NMMC, the shortage of nurses and doctors, and other concerns hounding the state-managed hospital.
Buhisan said the province’s local governments must realize that the NMMC is no longer a provincial hospital but is now a state-run medical facility managed by the Department of Health.
The overcrowding of patients at the NMMC stemmed from the fact that people seeking medical treatment are being brought there rather than at the provincial hospitals in Misamis Oriental.
“We have eight MOPH (provincial hospitals) … so there’s no need to refer patients to the NMMC. That’s what Gov. Peter M. Unabia and the provincial board headed by Vice Gov. [Jeremy Johnamar] Pelaez want – to let people avail of the medical services at the MOPH,” Buhisan said.
The challenge, he said, is to equip the provincial hospitals with all the necessary facilities and equipment so that there is no need for people to go to the NMMC.
He added the NMMC management has also acknowledged the shortage of its medical staff, particularly doctors and nurses.
“This is not the only problem of NMMC, this shortage of manpower is a problem of national scale,” Buhisan, adding that the provincial government has devised a strategy that would address this problem.
“Gov. Unabia has a program that will answer the problem of shortage of medical practitioners in the next three or six years,” he said.
Buhisan said the governor is pushing for a scholarship for nursing and medical courses, which already have a budget.
“We have already allocated funds for this. We encourage the high school graduates to enroll in Nursing. In return, the scholars should render service under the ‘return service program,’” he added.