June 19, 2024

The Insider News

Direct from the source

WVSUMC expansion to boost healthcare services in Visayas, Mindanao

First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos and House Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez lead the groundbreaking of the West Visayas State University Medical Center (WVSUMC) expansion project for the construction of a smart, state-of-the-art 15-story tower complex to meet the growing healthcare needs of Visayas region and even Mindanao. With them are Deputy Majority Leader and Iloilo 1st District Janette Garin, Commission on Higher Education and WVSU Board of Regents Chairman Prospero De Vera, several other government officials and other stakeholders.

CONSTRUCTION is officially underway for the expansion of the West Visayas State University Medical Center (WVSUMC), which is set to meet the growing healthcare needs of Visayas region and even Mindanao, representing yet another enduring legacy of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos Jr.’s administration.

Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez likened Thursday’s groundbreaking of the WVSUMC expansion project to “planting the seeds for future excellence in healthcare education and delivery in the Visayas and beyond.”

“This facility is poised to become a critical hub for medical training, addressing the growing demand for healthcare professionals equipped to handle future health challenges,” Romualdez said during the groundbreaking ceremony attended by partners and stakeholders, notably First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos.

He also thanked Garin and other officials for organizing the event. 

The WVSUMC is akin to the Philippine General Hospital (PGH), renowned for its outstanding medical training and services. It serves as an educational institution that offers future top medical practitioners the opportunity to excel, all while benefiting from minimal tuition fees.

The project, with a total proposed cost of P2.57 billion, aims to construct a smart, state-of-the-art 15-story tower complex at the WVSUMC. 

This expansion will boast a 352-inpatient bed capacity, along with general and specialty healthcare treatment and diagnostic services, medical education, training, and support facilities.

Construction will proceed in phases, with Phase 1 scheduled from April 2024 to August 2025. 

Subsequent phases will follow until the project’s completion in December 2030, ensuring meticulous planning and execution to achieve the desired objectives.

Acknowledging the vital contributions of partners and stakeholders, Romualdez expressed gratitude to the First Lady for her instrumental role in bringing to fruition this enduring legacy of the Marcos administration, grounded in the belief that every life is invaluable.

Last month, the Marcos administration also started the construction of a 20-story Cancer Center building in Quezon City, a significant addition to the medical complex established during the term of the late President Ferdinand Marcos Sr., housing a cluster of specialty hospitals including the National Kidney and Transplant Institute, the Philippine Heart Center, the Lung Center, and the Philippine Children’s Medical Center.

The Speaker also thanked House Committee on Appropriations chairman Zaldy Co of Ako Bicol Partylist and House Deputy Majority Leader and Iloilo Rep. Janette Garin for facilitating funding for the WVSU expansion project. The initial fund of P500 million was appropriated under the General Appropriations Act of 2023.

Also present during the event were Co, along with several Iloilo lawmakers, including Reps. Michael Gorriceta (1s District), Ferjenel G. Biron (4th District), Raul C. Tupas  (1st District), Julienne L. Baronda (Iloilo City, Lone District), as well as Uswag Ilongo Partylist Rep. Jojo Ang, and Undersecretary Terrence Calatrava  of the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas (OPAV).

The Speaker expressed his gratitude to the lawmakers present, saying their participation in the event is part of the oversight function of Congress, to make sure that government resources are properly utilized.

“This is teamwork, and this is all because of the direction set by President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr.,” Romualdez said.

The leader of the 300-plus strong House of Representatives likewise commended the WVSU leadership, led by Dr. Joselito Villaruz, for aligning with the national health goals. 

“Your efforts make the daunting task of safeguarding Filipino health that much easier,” he said.

The groundbreaking ceremony also saw the presence of Commission on Higher Education and WVSU Board of Regents chairman Prospero de Vera, Iloilo Gov. Arthur Defensor Jr., Iloilo City Mayor Jerry Treñas and various other government officials, partners and stakeholders.

According to Romualdez, the groundbreaking event marks a pivotal moment in the region’s healthcare landscape, signaling a bold step forward in addressing the evolving healthcare needs of the Filipino people.

He emphasized the significance of this expansion project in light of recent health challenges.

“The well-being of Filipinos has always been a paramount concern, particularly highlighted by the recent COVID pandemic,” he said.

The House chief underscored the importance of preparedness and innovation in advancing healthcare, as he expressed optimism about the project’s impact.

“Let’s nurture this endeavor, which promises to enhance healthcare services and education significantly. Together, we will watch this institution rise as a symbol of our collective commitment to improving the health and well-being of our community,” he pointed out.

WVSUMC has been at the forefront of healthcare delivery, medical education, and training in the Western Visayas for the past 36 years, serving hundreds of thousands of patients. 

It stands out among other government tertiary hospitals in the region as a state-owned, university-based medical institution primarily tasked with training and educating medical and nursing students and other allied sciences of WVSU. 

These colleges of medicine and nursing have consistently produced numerous topnotchers in their respective licensure examinations, earning a distinction of excellence in medical education. 

Moreover, WVSUMC has fulfilled its primary mandate while also establishing academic and training affiliations with several universities and colleges in Iloilo and other provinces, such as Capiz, Negros Occidental and Aklan.