DOH-7 Bares New Hospital Classification

CEBU CITY, Cebu - Following a new order on hospital classification, at least 51 Level-1 hospitals in Region 7 will be downgraded to primary care facility if they do not upgrade their current facility based on the Department of Health's (DOH) Administrative Order No. 12.

DOH 7 head for hospital licensing, Sofia Mancao, said the new order will make Level-1 hospitals primary care facilities while those previously classified as Level 2 will become Level-1 hospitals based on their capacity.

She added that the order reclassifies general hospitals into three levels from the current seven even as it also consolidates licensing and accreditation under the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PHIC).

In the previous setup, private and public hospitals apply for separate license and accreditation from the PHIC, with the latter requiring more services.

This has raised concerns on the DoH and PhilHealth's joint P12-billion program subsidizing the insurance premiums of 5.2 million of the country's poorest households, as a number of public hospitals are not accredited by the state insurer.

Meanwhile, Mancao expressed optimism that the new classification will encourage hospitals to upgrade their services to make certain their accreditation.

She said both private and government-owned hospitals will be affected by the reclassification.

Mancao admitted that the lack of facilities and medical personnel among district hospitals here have resulted into the congestion of such bigger hospitals as the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center.

''Some hospitals have the infrastructure but the problem lies on their lack of medical personnel handing surgery and other procedure,'' she said.

The lack of medical personnel is usually attributed to the small compensation doctors receive working in district hospitals, ''which is why we are encouraging local government units to allocate a budget for them,'' Mancao added.

Under the new DOH reclassification order, Level-1 hospitals should have the following facilities - surgery room; isolation, surgical and maternity facilities; dental clinics; secondary clinical laboratory; blood station; first level X-ray; and a pharmacy.

Level-2 hospitals require additional departmentalized clinical services, a respiratory unit, high pregnancy risk unit, second level X-ray with mobile unit, while Level-3 hospitals should have DOH-accredited teaching and training on four major clinical services, ambulatory surgical and dialysis clinics, and a blood bank.

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