DOH and Fabella Management say: Transfer of Fabella Hospital set

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The Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital in Sta. Cruz, Manila is set for transfer to a new location.
This was confirmed by the Fabella Hospital Management and the Department of Health (DOH) in a joint press briefing on Friday at the DOH Media Relations Unit in Tayuman, Sta. Cruz, Manila.
Under the hospital modernization plan, the 65-year-old maternity hospital will be transferred eventually to a new building to be located in the nearby San Lazaro Hospital Compound, also in Sta. Cruz, Manila.
"There will be no stopping. Kung okay na, mag-ooperate kami sa Lung Center of the Philippines (LCP), iyong building ng Fabella na ipinatatayo sa LCP Compound in Quezon City. Once it's ready, we will be moving (there temporarily)," Fabella Hospital Director Esmeraldo T. Ilem said.
Dr. Ilem said that the temporary transfer will begin as soon as they secure a "License to Operate" from the Quezon City government.
He also said that once the building in Manila (in the DOH Compound) is ready for occupancy, the entire operation of Fabella Hospital will be transferred there.
Under the plan, hospital operations in the present Fabella Hospital located at the Old Bilibid Prison Compound will be transferred temporarily to the LCP in Quezon City as well as in other Manila-based hospitals, namely: San Lazaro Hospital, Philippine General Hospital, and National Center for Geriatric Health.
According to Dr. Ilem, the temporary transfer has been agreed upon so that the Fabella Hospital operations and services will not be denied to its poor clients consisting of mothers giving birth to babies and other maternal services.
Ilem clarified that once the six-floor building at the DOH Compound Manila is completed by May 2017, all the incoming patients of Fabella and its healthcare workers will be accommodated in the new and modernized hospital.
He said that the decision was reached after the hospital management decided to set aside the results of the referendum earlier ordered by DOH Secretary Janette L. Garin.
Ilem said the referendum was shelved after hospital employees refused to make it an open voting and even sequestered the ballot box.
Subsequently, the management decided to just hold a signature campaign on who among the employees are supporting the modernization plan.
"We already submitted to the DOH a total of 600 signatures supporting the plan. We have a total of 1,200 personnel in Fabella," said the hospital chief.
Ilem stressed, though, that the remaining 600 employees cannot be considered as automatically being opposed to the modernization plan as some of them are found to be on leave, neutral, or choosing to abstain.
To note, the DOH has long planned the modernization of the Fabella Hospital, which is known as the country's "baby factory" due to the high number of babies being born in the facility on a daily basis.
The decision for transfer was arrived at after evaluation and recommendation that the existing Fabella Hospital building is already "structurally unsound" and has the potential to cause damage to lives and properties in the event of a major earthquake.
Civil society groups as well as several Fabella health workers have protested the transfer of the hospital over fear of "privatization" and suspecting that it can lead to costly services.
Another disinformation that has been circulating is that regular employees may lose their jobs.
The DOH, however, repeatedly refuted all of these claims, saying the P2-billion budget for the modernization project is sourced from government funds and that workers are assured of job security since they are holding plantilla positions.
"No, there is no private sector involved. Will people (employees holding plantilla positions) lose their job? No, they will be reassigned temporarily and they will be called back to the Fabella hospital. Will Fabella Hospital improve its services in its expansion? Yes," said DOH Undersecretary Dr. Kenneth Hartigan-Go for Health and Regulation.
Dr. Hartigan-Go said that the same statements were already made by Secretary Garin in previous press conference and in dialogue with Fabella Hospital employees and staff.
He appealed to those protesting outside the Fabella Hospital Compound to stop obstructing the ongoing transfer of hospital equipment.
He said that the transfer of the hospital equipment is necessary in order for the QC government to issue a License to Operate.
"We are appealing to your sense of propriety, sensibility, and humanitarian spirit. Let us not prevent the transfer of the hospital equipment," said the DOH official.
He further called on those who continue to oppose the modernization plan to consider the welfare of the greater majority before their personal motives.
"Healthcare is very complex and sometimes being criticized because we want to do something good, but we are prevented from doing good – because one or two individuals are protesting. Because they are looking at their own welfare, rather than the welfare of the patients in need. Health service is not something you can make a choice individually and that we should go where it is needed," he added. (PNA)

Last Modified: 2021-Mar-06 18.59.15 UTC+0800