Modern ‘bayanihan’: Local residents help build world-class hospital in Nueva Vizcaya

Modern ‘bayanihan’ was exemplified in the town of Solano, Nueva Vizcaya after residents themselves pitched in for the completion of their own private hospital.

Salubris Medical Center is set to operate by the end of the year after its 12-year completion and inauguration last Oct. 7 in the presence of Vice President Leni Robredo.

The project was first proposed in 2005 by Dr. Willie Damasco, Dr. Justo Dañguilan, Dr. Jaime Venturina, Dr. Excelsior Valdez, and Dr. Antonio Padre of Medical Mission Group Hospital and Health Services Cooperative-Nueva Vizcaya.

“We wanted the hospital to be a community-based hospital. We want to involve the masses, so that the hospital will become a hospital of the masses, of the community. That’s why we tried to ask people to invest,” said Damasco, Salubris chairman and chief executive officer.

Due to budget restraints, the group sought help from the people who will benefit from the hospital – Solano, Nueva Vizacaya residents.

Joining them are local farmers, teachers, and caregivers. Among them are Abelaida de Guzman and Adela Umingle who both invested P200,000 each in the last two years.

“They showed us the documents containing the plans for Salubris. Their explanation was excellent. I was convinced to invest because of the benefits,” said De Guzman in Filipino to when asked why she made the investment.

The overall fund for the hospital was totaled at around P350 million.

World-class facilities, fair prices

Salubris, vying for world-class facilities, has 10 glass-walled rooms including its intensive care unit, operating rooms for eyes, orthopedic cases, general surgery, and health spa, gym, and sauna.

Additionally, its operating rooms features a positive pressure and laminar flow (clean air inside the room stays uncontaminated), the first in the region II province.

Among its other firsts are specialty units for heart care, electromyography, electroencephalography, and other services related to cardiology, neurology, ophthalmology, and otorhinolaryngology.

The hospital has a bed capacity of 133. Room rates are lower than most private hospitals, which they purposely did to attract their residents for a quality medical service.

Wards are priced less than P1,000; semi private rooms for P1,400 a day; and private rooms for P2,000 a day, which “is comparable with our government hospital here (Nueva Vizcaya).”

“That’s why we’re trying to reverse that notion that private hospital is only for the rich. Because one of the mission of our Salubris is to have a value-based and compassionate health services to all. Meaning to say, you have to get the worth of your money,” said Damasco.

He added that their values go for compassionate patient-centered health care services open to all.

Residents of Ifugao, Quirino, Mountain Province, and southern Isabela are also welcome to avail the hospital’s services, Salubris medical director, Dr. Valdez, said.

“Here, we trained, we equipped our personnel to be compassionate… They should respect the dignity of any patient, whether they are coming from the lower marginalized population or the community. They have to be treated fairly like the wealthy and the affluent,” he said.

Story first appeared here.

Photo from Salubris Medical Center // Youtube