TUBA, Benguet – The municipal government requested the regional and provincial offices of the Department of Health (DOH) to study the possibility of converting its rural health unit to a community hospital to serve the health needs of the increasing population in the locality.
Mayor Ignacio Rivera said the local government needs to maximize the use of its 4-storey rural health unit situated within the center of the town to provide the needed health services to the people living within the different barangays of the municipality.
“We will await the recommendations of the regional and provincial offices of the health department before we will act on the matter so that our existing rural health unit will be upgraded to a community or district hospital depending on the findings of the study team,” Rivera stressed.
The local chief executive admitted there have been a significant increase in the town’s population over the past several years so it is important for concerned government agencies and the local government to enhance the delivery of basic health services to the residents so that immediate medical attention could be given them before being referred to other hospitals outside the town once if need be.
According to him, improving the delivery of health services in the municipality is one of the priority programs of the local government because people must always be healthy for them to be productive in their respective endeavors, especially in earning a living for their families.
Rivera proposed that the rural health unit could be initially converted to a 10-bed community hospital.
Tuba owns the distinction of being one of the first-class towns in Benguet primarily because it plays host to the operation of the Philex Mining Corporation, the largest gold and copper producer in the country to date, and it substantially generates its income from its share of the national wealth tax and the business and real property taxes being paid by the company to the host communities.
Rivera added there is also a need for the rural health unit to be equipped with equipment necessary for initially testing the health conditions of patients seeking medical attention from the facility so that minor ailments could be treated therein instead of being referred to other hospitals in nearby Baguio City thus contributing to the decongesting the tertiary hospitals in the neighboring places.
He underscored that health is a basic need of the residents thus the municipal government aims to improve the delivery of health services to the residents right in the locality by improving the town’s health facilities so they do not need to go out of the municipality to avail of the health services offered by other equally-equipped health facilities.