BALER, Aurora, Feb 19 (PIA) -- Visiting Aurora province for the first time, President Benigno S. Aquino III opened this morning here the P594 million Aurora Memorial Hospital (AMH) which is the fruit of “two generations” of friendship with the Japanese government.
President Aquino said the Japanese government, which funded P509 million for the construction of the hospital, has been “giving generously to improve the lives of the Filipinos” despite all the ordeals it experienced in the past years.
The provincial government of Aurora for its part shared P85 million for the construction.
“[Japan] experienced a great earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear problems. They themselves have many needs. Despite all these needs, they had the consideration and kindness to help,” said President Aquino in Filipino.
“As a true friend, Japan did not use what happened to them as an excuse. Two generations shared by principles are the key in our strong relations,” he added.
Receiving the plaque of appreciation, Japanese Ambassador Toshinao Urabe said the Japanese government is “happy to help Aurora” particularly its health sector.
“There is no distance too far for friendship. I hope that the people will maintain and improve the hospital. Ang umaayaw ay hindi nagwawagi. Ang nagwawagi ay hindi umaayaw (Quitters never win. Winners never quit),” said Urabe.
Upon citing the significance of the new hospital to upgrade medical services in the Pacific Ocean-bounded province, the President disclosed that 29,000 Aurorans or almost 15 percent of the province’s total population are already insured in PhilHealth.
This developed as the Department of Health exceeded its target of 19 million Filipinos, the poorest of the poor in the country, to 35 million PhilHealth beneficiaries.
Also, 31,000 nurses have been deployed to rural communities across the country under the program Registered Nurses for Health Enhancement And Local Service (RN HEALS). A total of 10,000 nurses were employed in RN HEALS 1; 11,000 in RN HEALS 2; and another 10,000 are needed still for the third installment of the project.
“Almost all municipalities will be augmented with nurses,” said President Aquino, citing that 40 nurses of the program are already serving Aurora.
According to Senator Edgardo Angara, the proponent of AMH, the hospital with its five buildings measuring a floor area of 3.969 hectares is a very modern facility which will also serve as a training ground for medical students.
“We are fortunate because the UP Health Institute of Science is our neighbor. We will have excellent midwives and nurses. The hospital will be a center of excellence for northeastern Luzon up to Batanes,” said Angara in Filipino.
Compared to the 70-year-old AMH located near Quezon Park here, the new AMH could hold 800 patients a year with its 50-bed capacity, in contrast to the previous 25, without transferring the patients to other provinces or cities.
AMH will provide modernized medical services which will be able to diagnose and treat a wider range of diseases, and increase the total patient-day of confined patients from the current 7,700 patient-days to 13,000.
The new buildings include the administration, emergency, and out-patient department; operation and delivery; ward buildings 1 and 2; service; and ancillary buildings like guardhouse and mortuary.
Also, the AMH has equipment on dental service, physical therapy, radiology, laboratory, central supply and sterilization room, emergency room/operation theater, OB-Gyne, and on eye, ear, nose, throat (EENT) unit. (WLB/JMG/PIA 3)