Salceda sets aside P1.8-B to modernize Bicol hospital

By Rhaydz Barcia

LEGAZPI CITY -- Albay 2nd District Rep. Joey Salceda has allocated PHP1.8 billion for the modernization of the Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital (BRTTH) in the next three years.

“We’re envisioning the Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital to be the PGH (Philippine General Hospital) of the south, equipped with modern facilities to cater to the needs of Bicolanos,” he said during the centennial anniversary of the hospital on Tuesday.

Salceda said the amount will be used for the construction of a five-storey building with 600 beds.

The solon considers the BRTTH as a pillar of economic development, and is expecting an increase in the number of patients once the Bicol International Airport is fully operational in 2020.

“By 2020, which is the opening of the Bicol International Airport, your admission is expected to spike not only because BRTTH is the catchment area for medical services of neighboring provinces, including foreigners. We envision Bicol, specifically Albay province, as the California way of life in 2050, as a livable place,” Salceda said.

Dr. Rogelio Rivera, BRTTH chief of hospital, said the region’s first government hospital is preparing for the future to meet the global demand for better public health services.

“We’re heading to computerizing and developing (a) safer and green hospital in the country with water treatment sewage,” he said.

Rivera said BRTTH is the catchment area of Albay, Catanduanes, Masbate, Sorsogon, and other nearby provinces, and is catering to an increasing number of patients annually.

Aside from being the heart and cancer center, Rivera also said he hopes the BRTTH would become the region’s brain center to lure Bicolano medical specialists currently based in Manila to return to Bicol to serve the increasing number of patients in the area.

“The operation is very expensive but if the BRTTH will be the brain center, we can at least help minimize the expenses of the patients as they can no longer go to other hospitals for operation and treatment,” he added. (PNA)