NOTING a growing need to serve cancer patients, especially in radiotherapy, the board of directors of Chong Hua Hospital unveiled the plans for a 300-bed hospital in Mandaue City.
Located 100 meters from Parkmall, the 1.5 hectare lot purchased early this year is expected to serve, not only Mandaue City, but patients from neighboring towns in the north of Cebu province.
“This will carry the distinctive brand of excellence of Chong Hua Hospital and the time honored tradition of service to society by the Asociacion Benevola de Cebu, since 1901 to the present,” said Asociacion chairman Victoriano Go during Saturday’s inaugural dinner.
With Mandaue City’s over 300,000 residents and another 300,000 residents from neighboring northern municipalities and cities like Consolacion, Danao and Lapu-Lapu and tourists, its population could easily reach 600,000, Go said. He added that the hospital’s location, which is accessible to the seaport and airport, will also allow them to serve nearby islands in the Visayas and Mindanao.
Go went on to say that Cebu still lacks hospital beds, the current ratio being 0.5 beds per 1,000 population. He noted that neighboring countries have higher bed to population ratios, with Singapore having 3.3, Malaysia with 2.5 and Thailand with two for every 1,000.
“Two hospitals within the vicinity with a combined bed capacity of 600 is still considered inefficient for such a huge population,” said Go, referring to another hospital that the University of Cebu is also constructing in the area.
He noted that Cebu City’s 600,000 local residents are being served by seven hospitals with a combined bed capacity of about 2,000.
The hospital will focus on cancer care, along with basic ancillary and cancer support services such as a multi-disciplinary team for comprehensive care to give the patient the best treatment option, access to cancer-related information, education psychosocial distress screening and counseling, options for genetic assessment and a cancer registry that collects data on cancer types, stages and treatment results.
The center hopes to be at the forefront of cancer research and develop an oncology subspecialty training program. Until that happens, they want to ensure the completeness of the existing Chong Hua hospital by establishing a radio-oncology facility to offer radiotherapy for cancer patients.
After getting their accreditation from the Joint Commission International in 2009, the board began discussions to complete their services by setting up a cancer center. Go said it was apparent that their existing facility was not “suitable” for radio-oncology services, which led them to search for another area. Their choices were either at the South Road Properties or at the North Reclamation Area. By the third quarter of last year, they had decided to purchase the lot in Mandaue City.
Apart from the hospital, the building will also have a floor for commercial establishments such as a healthy food court, visitors’ lounge and specialty shops with items essential for the daily living of cancer survivors. These include apparel, canes, compression garments with trained staff to assist with product selection, gift items to inspire and support healthy lifestyles, hair loss and hair alternatives for those who have faced hair loss due to cancer treatments, mastectomy products and physical therapy items.
The facility will have two buildings, with one to hold offices for its doctors. Ninety percent of the rooms will be private while the remaining 10 percent will be allocated for subsidized care. The initial plan is to have 100 beds but they want to be able to bring the number to 300 in the future. Since the hospital will be a center for cancer and will have equipment for radiotherapy, they will not be offering obstetrics in this facility, although deliveries are still available at their Cebu City hospital.
Mandaue City Mayor Jonas Cortes said this was good news for residents of the city and assured them that they made the right decision in deciding to put up the facility in Mandaue. For her part, Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia echoed Cortes, saying that by building in Mandaue, the institution would be “extending their brand of service to the neighboring towns of Cebu.”