Angeles City Mayor Carmelo ‘Pogi’ Lazatin Jr. highlighted the new hospital building when he delivered his fourth State of the City Address (SOCA) on June 29, 2023 at the city hall legislative building.
The construction of the seven-story Rafael Lazatin Memorial Medical Center (RLMMC), formerly known as Ospital Ning Angeles or ONA, is in full swing and is expected to respond to the gap in the city’s bed capacity. The desired ratio based on the World Health Organization (WHO) is three beds for every 1,000 people.
The first phase of the RLMMC annex building is set to be finished this year and expected to be operational next year.
While over 70,000 patients, both residents and non-residents, are admitted and treated yearly in RLMMC; a total of P200 million was apportioned for the acquisition of state-of-the-art hospital equipment to cushion the growing and evolving demand of healthcare services.
A quarter of the city’s total annual budget was allocated to health services for 2023 – P260 million for Rafael Lazatin Memorial Medical Center (RLMMC) alongside other health priority program including P157 million for the City Health Office (CHO); P90 million for the Renal Care Unit, 17 additional dialysis machines are already in the pipeline to augment the existing 22 machines, and another P50 Million for the procurement of medicines, including vitamin C for senior citizens.
It is appropriate to tag the new RLMMC as the “poor man’s hospital, with a rich man’s service.”
Moreover, the city government also shared out P70 million for the repair of primary health care facilities (PHCFs) in Barangays Pulungbulu, Sapangbato, Pulung Maragul, Cutud, Pampang, Anunas, Capaya, Amsic, Tabun, and Malabanias and P50 million for the essential equipment to equitably provide primary health care in the rural community.
Thus, more city health doctors, dentists, midwives, nurses, medical technologists and pharmacists will be hired to boost and decentralize the services at the grassroots level. Needless to say, Mayor Pogi has always attached great importance to medical and health services in rural areas, and considers this development as an area of high priority. He wanted positive results that would put an end once and for all to the lack of both doctors and medicines, and to curb the spread of diseases.
Thanks to the establishment and development of the medical infrastructures (RLMMC, PHCFs and Puso Center) and a relatively complete medical and health delivery system. It now covers the highly urbanized city and plays an active and effective role in developing primary health care. Generally speaking, most diseases can be prevented, treated and controlled in the peripheral health facilities, while more difficult problems can usually be tackled by the medical and health institutions at city level, particularly in the RLMMC.
Women’s health is also a top priority. Continuous free pap smears and free breast cancer screenings to all mothers are provided where bus clinics are dispatched in each barangay under the auspices of the Gender and Development Office (GAD).
COVID-19 response remains unrelentless. Additional ambulances are on duty to relay immediate assistance to COVID-positive patients. The Angeles City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office has a total of nine ambulances. COVID-positive patients are monitored by health care workers while medicines are being provided by the Office of the Mayor.
The Department of Health hailed the city’s COVID-19 inoculation efforts as one of the most efficient around the country with a total of 410,163 vaccinated.
Mayor Pogi firmly commended the health workers, medical personnel, disaster response and rescue team, frontliners, and backliners for their dedication and courage to face the threats of COVID-19 on a daily basis. Through the efficient command system and response of the city in terms of taking COVID-19 patients to the designated hospitals and quarantine facilities many lives have been cured and saved.
Fulfilling his oath that no one will be left behind, Mayor Pogi is carefully building a progressive future, ensuring the progress and safety of everyone, and enabling every Angeleno to bridge towards a brighter and healthier city.