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Leyte turned over community hospital to municipal LGU

By Provincial Media Relations Center
September 24, 2009

KANANGA, Leyte  –  The provincial government of Leyte formally turned over the health planning, control and management of the formerly province-run Kananga Community Hospital to the local government unit (LGU) of Kananga.

After many negotiations and convincing form Leyte Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla, Kananga Mayor Elmer Codilla finally gave his nod for the LGU to handle the management of the said community hospital against the alternative option of full closure since the said facility has not been earning much to support its own operations.

In the turn-over ceremony held recently at the hospital ground of the new Kananga Municipal Hospital (KMH), the mayor said although managing the hospital would run tight on their own budget; however, providing a nearer health facility for his constituents as well as neighboring towns weighed heavier than the hospital’s eventual closure.

To recall, in 1991 the government introduced a major devolution of national government services, which included the first wave of health sector reform, through the introduction of the Local Government Code of 1991. The Code devolved basic services, to include health services among others, to local government units.

With the devolution of health services to LGUs, the provincial governments oversee provincial and district hospitals, while the municipal governments manage rural health units (RHUs) and barangay (village) health stations.

During his first term, Gov. Petilla implemented a hospital improvement plan to make the district hospitals under the province’s wings independent and self-sustaining; however, some of these hospitals remain non-performing costing the province more by subsidizing its operations.

For some LGUs, the decentralization process have been favorable, especially those LGUs which are resource-rich.

Gov. Petilla said closing the hospitals however weighed heavily in the government’s thrust to provide health care especially with 70% of the community hospitals clientele belonging to the low-income level.

Aside from turning over the community hospital to the Kananga LGU, the provincial government has also provided it with a financial assistance of P3.5 million to rehabilitate some of its existing facilities and services.

The turn over held last Thursday was attended by Gov. Petilla and Mayor Codilla with Leyte 4th District Representative Eufrocino Codilla, Sr. and representatives from the Provincial Health Office, Department of Health, PhilHealth and other municipal officials.