Mayor explains why Sto. Tomas can’t run government hospital

Mayor Maximo Estela of Sto. Tomas, Davao del Norte said he dreams of a government hospital in his municipality, but is not inclined to press for it now for practical reasons.
“Duna tay plano nga magtukod og (We plan to establish) a hospital but our finances will not warrant it,” he told tri-media practitioners attending the Kapehan sa Dabaw at SM City Davao last Monday.
“You know, if you have a hospital, all the expenses will be very staggering; it’s going to drain your meager finances,” he said.
Estela, who has served as town executive for more than a decade now, said he was aware that his stand on the hospital is being raised as a political issue against him by detractors.
“According to them, I am a doctor of medicine and yet I am against establishing a government hospital,” he said. “No, I’m not against it as I would be one of those to be personally benefited by it. I can now refer poor patients of my town to the hospital and thus relieve my private clinic of some pressure, even with the big help that PhilHealth is rendering.”
He said it is not a joke to run even a small government hospital. “You have to have at least P20 million a year, something that my town can  not afford, considering that our  budget next year is a paltry P150 million.”
“If you have a hospital, at least you have five physicians mag-duty. Pilay sahod sa physician?  How many nurses would you need? Pila ka buok midwives? Janitors? You can not sustain an operation like that,” Estela said. [Antonio M. Ajero]