RITM commences hospital renovations; decreases bed capacity

MUNTINLUPA CITY—The Department of Health Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (DOH-RITM) is set to reduce its 40-bed capacity to 17 starting Wednesday, August 25. The decrease in in-patient accommodations and activities come at the fore of the impending construction works at the Institute beginning September 8.

We have been working on this hospital and laboratory renovation project with the WorldBank and DOH since last year. We have likewise formally notified Secretary Duque regarding our hospital scale down that will happen in phases; first of which will impact the North Ward,” said RITM Director Celia Carlos.

The Institute is in the careful process of transferring to the East Ward patients who are currently admitted to the 12 rooms that will be initially affected. Once the rehabilitation of the North Ward is completed, it will be immediately operational to accommodate the transfer of patients and make way for renovations at the East Ward. Other construction projects involving several laboratories at the Institute will simultaneously happen this year until 2022.

These planned infrastructure activities, renovations, and upgrades at the RITM have been made possible through the WorldBank Philippine COVID-19 Emergency Response Project (WB-PCERP), in collaboration with the Health Facilities Enhancement Program (HFEP) and the Health Facilities and Services Regulatory Bureau (HFSRB) of the Department of Health. On record, all sites are expected to be completed 360 days upon commencement.

In light of this, RITM assures that it intends to maintain the same level of quality and dedication in providing health services to the public despite the temporary cut backs. “Currently, the Institute has set measures in place regarding prioritization of admissions, most especially COVID-19 patients. Those who cannot be accommodated will be assessed and transferred in coordination with the One Hospital Command Center,” added Carlos.

The modernization of RITM and other WB-PCERP recipient hospitals aim to better prepare the country for other public health emergencies that may occur in the future.