Tagged as the biggest government-owned hospital in Mindanao, the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) is celebrating today (August 11) its centennial. It is promising “changes” for best medical service.
In an interview, SPMC chief of hospital Dr. Leopoldo “Bong” Vega said that “changes” can apply to the whole facility, its physical structure, human resources and their services.
Five new health facilities were opened earlier this year that can accommodate more patients from across Mindanao: 1) A four-storey SPMC Central Intensive Care Unit, an in-patient facility with 52 ICU beds including a separate stroke unit and ICU facility for infectious cases; 2) SPMC Central ICU, or the SPMC Cancer Institute, a pediatric and adult out-patient, in-patient and minor surgical facility for cancer patients; 3) the House of Hope extension which now has a second story annex with more spaces including multipurpose rooms, teens’ activity room and play area; 4) an emerging and re-emerging diseases isolation facility with state-of- the-art mechanical controls; and 5) the “Candles of Hope” monument completed by homegrown multi-awarded sculptor Kublai Milan. The artist has generously donated his time to do the project, a space where patients and their families get in touch with their spirituality and draw strength from their Maker as they deal with their illness.
The funds used in building the facilities were sourced from SPMC’s earnings and from the Health Facilities Enhancement Program (HFEP).
Other new facilities as it celebrates its 100th anniversary include the Mother and Child Building (formerly the Women Center) and the Orthopedic Institute and the Kidney Transplant Institute.
Vega said these facilities are needed because SPMC is an end-referral center. So it has to cater to conditions that need specialties and skilled specialization. That is why they have the ICU which roughly has more than 40 units and beds.
It is also the vision of SPMC to improve services particularly medical specialists. It has put in more doctors to be trained as medical specialists in the emergency room on top of the different specializations. They will be trained as residents and doctors to become emergency specialists. SPMC improves also the manpower of nurses in order to enhance public service.
The hospital is now also exploring ways to improve its frontline services.
SPMC, which now has 1,500 beds, was originally the Davao Medical Center built in 1917 along San Pedro St. with 25 beds. In 1946, it was renamed Davao General Hospital and its capacity increased to about 200 beds. In 1957, the hospital transferred to its current location along JP Laurel Ave. and again renamed Davao Regional Medical and Training Center. The name SPMC was set in 2009. Maya M. Padillo