Almost a year ago, in March 2020, when the prospect of COVID-19 getting into GenSan no longer was a matter of “if” but “when,” medical institutions throughout the city mobilized to provide possible facilities where patients with suspected and confirmed cases could be housed in isolation. Back then, the Dr. Jorge P. Royeca Hospital made do with a large tent from the DPWH as its initial reception ward, where COVID patients could then be transferred onto more dedicated facilities. Now, some 11 months after that, Royeca City Hospital has begun taking steps to build a permanent structure for patient isolation.
The GenSan LGU relates on their official Facebook page that a ceremonial groundbreaking for a new Isolation Ward building of the Dr. Jorge P. Royeca City Hospital (DJPRCH) took place on Thursday, February 11. This project would qualify the city hospital for confining patients with medical conditions that warrant strict isolation for the outside world, such as COVID-19. It was made possible thanks to a fund amounting to P10 million given by the Department of Health (DOH) via the Bayanihan to Recover as One Act, of which GenSan was merely one of six community recipients.
While Mayor Ronnel Rivera could not be present to preside over the groundbreaking, he was ably represented by the Hon. Councilor Lourdes Casabuena. Other city officials such as City Gov’t Dept. Head Gabriel Francis Glenville Gonzales were present alongside counterparts from regional offices of various national agencies, particularly Provincial DOH-SARGEN Office head Dr. Butch Duldoco and DOH-XII Regional Director Dr. Aristedes Concepcion Tan. The groundbreaking within the hospital compound also included the burying of a time capsule commemorating the occasion.
The Hon. Casabuena thanked the DOH officials for the department’s financial aid in establishing a permanent isolation ward for the DJPRCH while promising support for the project from Mayor Rivera and the City Council. Dr. Tan for his part noted that a major city like GenSan deserves to have its hospital be equipped with a top-quality isolation facility housed in a permanent concrete structure. This will enable the ward’s use beyond merely keeping COVID-19 in check, but also for patients of other highly-communicable diseases such as tuberculosis. Barring sudden complications the project is expected to be completed within this year.
Image: LGU-GenSan official Facebook page