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By Francis Allan L. Angelo

THE Iloilo provincial government will expedite the purchase of a new cadaver freezer for Western Visayas Medical Center (WVMC) in Mandurriao, Iloilo after the remains of two persons reportedly emitted foul odor causing discomfort among the staff and patients.

Reports from GMA’s dySI Super Radyo said foul smell emanated from the WVMC morgue past 11pm Wednesday.

Security guards of the hospital said the remains of two persons were deposited inside the morgue after they died Wednesday morning.

But Esther Nievales, WVMC chief administrative officer, denied the report saying no foul smell came from the remains of the dead patients.

A caretaker of the morgue said only one body was deposited inside the facility but it did not smell. The dead person was released to relatives yesterday.

The Daily Guardian tried to reach WVMC director Jose Mari Fermin but he was in General Santos City.

The morgue incident happened days after Department of Health Secretary Francisco Duque III pledged to help WVMC buy a new freezer.

Iloilo provincial administrator Manuel Mejorada expressed alarm about the latest incident in the WVMC morgue because of the possible health hazard posed by the remains of dead patients.

“We are now fast-tracking the request of the provincial government to Secretary Duque to address the problem by buying a new cadaver freezer. This issue affects the constituents of the province. We can’t afford to sit around and watch the possible health hazards explode in our faces. The situation is like a ticking time bomb and every minute counts,” Mejorada said.  

Mejorada was the one who relayed to Duque last week the request of Fermin to the Iloilo provincial government to help the hospital buy a new cadaver freezer.

Last month, the remains of Leonardo Belleza of Guimaras province also emitted foul smell as the decades-old cadaver freezer conked out. 

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

THE Department of Health will help Western Visayas Medical Center (WVMC) buy a brand new cadaver freezer.

Iloilo provincial administrator Manuel Mejorada said DOH Secretary Francisco Duque III learned about WVMC’s predicament during the latter’s visit to Lambunao, Iloilo last week to lead the mass drug administration against lympathic filariasis.

Mejorada said he relayed to Duque the request of Dr. Jose Mari Fermin, WVMC director, to the Iloilo provincial government to help them buy a new cadaver freezer.

“Upon learning that WVMC was asking for the province’s help, he immediately called his staff and ordered them to look for funds which will be used to buy a new cadaver freezer,” Mejorada said.

The need to buy a new cadaver freezer for WVMC was raised after the remains of a Guimaras resident started to smell inside the hospital morgue, causing inconvenience among the patients and their folks.

Patient Leonardo Belleza was brought to WVMC in the morning of October 19 and died the next day due to complication of tuberculosis, hypertension and myocardial infarction. He was buried October 21 after none of his folks claimed his body.

The hospital buried Belleza’s body because the morgue freezer broke down after decades of operation.

Esther Nievales, WVMC chief administrative officer, said the hospital cannot afford a cadaver freezer which costs more or less P8 million for the type that can contain two cadavers.

Duque had said that tertiary hospital must have morgue freezers where the management can keep cadavers until their folks claim the remains.

 

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

 

THE Western Visayas Medical Center (WVMC) welcomes donors who can help the primary government hospital in Panay Island purchase a brand new cadaver freezer.

 

Esther Nievales, WVMC chief administrative officer, said the hospital cannot afford a cadaver freezer which costs more or less P8 million for the type that can contain two cadavers.

 

Nievales said WVMC’s budget for this year is not enough for the freezer which is a requirement for the laboratory accreditation of hospitals.

 

“We are paying more than P1 million for our electricity and another P52 million for our maintenance and other operating expenses. We have nothing left for our capital outlay already,” Nievales said.

 

The need for the cadaver freezer in WVMC was raised after the remains of a certain Leonardo Belleza of San Lorenzo, Guimaras began to smell while inside the hospital morgue, causing discomfort among the patients.

 

Belleza was brought to WVMC in the morning of October 19 and died the next day due to complication of tuberculosis, hypertension and myocardial infarction. He was buried October 21 after none of his folks claimed his body.

 

The hospital buried Belleza’s body because the morgue freezer broke down after decades of operation.

 

While Nievales denied that Belleza’s remains troubled the hospital, she pointed the importance of a morgue freezer in which to keep the remains of expired patients who fail to readily claim their relatives.

 

“We include the freezer in our annual procurement plan but because of lack of funds. What we do is we just dispose the body if no folks claim them after 24 hours,” Nievales said.

 

Cadaver freezers are supposedly required in level 4 hospitals such as WVMC but lack of funds has prompted the management to adopt the “claim within 24 hours” policy on cadavers.

 

Nievales said they have observed an increasing trend in the number of “folk-less patients” whose remains are left to the hospital morgue.

 

From January to October 2007, WVMC disposed nine “folk-less” remains but this year it rose to 20 cadavers.

 

The WVMC ob-gyne ward has been vacated after it incurred a crack on its second floor. (FAA photo)

The WVMC ob-gyne ward has been vacated after it incurred a crack on its second floor. (FAA photo)

By Francis Allan L. Angelo

THE contractor of the Obstetrics-Gynelogical (Ob-Gyne) building inside the Western Visayas Medical Center (WVMC) used the wrong kind of aggregates on the second storey flooring reason why it suffered a 15-foot crack.

This was the initial finding of the City Engineer’s Office (CEO) as to why the Ob-Gyne building’s second floor cracked Monday morning.

Engr. Gil Maternal of the CEO maintenance division said the aggregates used in the Ob-Gyne building’s second storey were bigger than what is supposed to be used for upper floorings.

Instead of using aggregates with 0.75-inch diameter, the contractor mixed stones with 2-inch diameter, Maternal said.

Maternal said the contractor should have used the same kind of aggregates in the concrete mix to make sure that the second floor is compact and stable enough to carry its load.

The CEO has recommended to the WVMC to hire a private structural engineer who will inspect the whole building.

Meanwhile, the WVMC management assured it will renovate the building.

Dr. Jose Marie Fermin, WVMC chief, said the Ob-Gyne building will undergo repairs, particularly the big crack on the second floor.

Fermin said he has already informed Health Secretary Francisco Duque of the building’s condition.

But the WVMC chief assured that the 26-year-old Ob-Gyne building is still structurally sound despite the presence of the crack.

Fermin said the building can withstand an 8.5 magnitude earthquake as it passed the standards of the Department of Health.

The City Engineer’s Office (CEO) has recommended the temporary abandonment of the Ob-Gyne building after they found out that the aggregates used in the flooring were substandard.

The Ob-Gyne building was constructed sometime in 1982. The contractor has yet to be identified as of presstime.

The ward was housing 93 newly-born infants when the crack occurred. These infants were transferred to other wards.

Patients in the ground floor or the delivery area were also transferred to the out-patient building while patients confined in the nursery intensive unit were moved to the building near the emergency room.

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