Research muna bago comment! Doctor defends Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) in Davao City from critics

A doctor defended the Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) located in Davao City after some critics questioned why the said hospital received the biggest amount of Philippine Health Insurance Corporation’s (PhilHealth) Internal Reimbursement Mechanism (IRM) for COVID-19 treatment among other hospitals.

In a Facebook post, Dr. Bernard Chiew, a cardiologist from Davao City listed the ‘facts’ about SPMC so the critics would not get confused about why the said hospital was receiving big amount of money from PhilHealth.

Here’s what he said:

“1) Southern Philippines Medical Center (SPMC) is in Davao City. Davao Regional Medical Center (DRMC) is in another province, at Tagum City in Davao Del Norte.”

“2) SPMC is the biggest government hospital in the country with 1500 beds. PGH is second with 1100 beds.”


“3) How big is SPMC? For the Department of Internal Medicine alone, which is largely responsible for taking care of COVID patients, there are 83 medical residents and 95 medical consultants. Our department is bigger than the whole medical staff and trainees of most hospitals.”

“Total number of residents/fellows and consultants for all the departments of SPMC? 475 residents and fellows. 399 consultants.”

“4) SPMC is the ONLY government hospital in Davao City, serving the whole of Mindanao as a medical center. For SPMC, there is no such thing as “puno na ang hospital. Lumipat na lang kayo sa iba!”. The buck stops here.”

“5) As for Covid, SPMC is the only Covid center in the Davao area. BECAUSE WE ARE SMART HERE IN DAVAO, we centralized the treatment of Covid. Until recently, private hospitals were not allowed to admit Covid. Now, only mild cases of COVID are allowed in private hospitals. It is still SPMC which is ground zero for the COVID treatment. By doing this, we are able to maximize manpower and resources and streamline our response.”

“6) SPMC is not just an “infirmary clinic” that others make it appear. Since the start of the Covid Pandemic, on average, SPMC is taking care of more than 130 in-patient Covid cases daily (about 100 adult Covid patients and 30 pediatric covid cases). This does not include the hundreds of other non-COVID cases in the hospital.”

“7) In Metro Manila, unlike in Davao City’s SPMC, PGH do not bear the brunt of ALL covid cases. Covid cases are being admitted in private hospitals and other government hospitals in Metro Manila.”


“8)Actually, Metro Manila got the biggest share of Covid funds at Php592M (PGH, National Kidney and Transplant Institute, and Quirino Memorial Medical Center). Davao CIty (SPMC) got Php326M.”

The doctor then called out the people making comments against SPMC without making their proper research.

He also criticized the “intellectually dishonest” people who were aware of the facts but still chose to comment against SPMC.

Chiew then said the critics should stop comparing SPMC and the Philippine General Hospital in Metro Manila.

“I just wanted to show how much SPMC has developed and improved the last 20 yrs. Besides, our colleagues in PGH are our friends. Most of the consultants at SPMC had their training in PGH. This is not about SPMC vs PGH. It will never be SPMC vs PGH,” he said.


The doctor included a video showing the development of SPMC

On August 11, Philhealth legal counsel Roberto Labe Jr. showed the top 10 hospitals receiving IRM in the country.

It showed that SPMC received 326-M followed by PGH, P263-M, Davao Regional Medical Center, P209-M, Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center, P204 million, Jose B. Lingad Memorial Regional Hospital, P201-M, National Kidney and Transplant Institute, P179-M, Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center, P165-M , Northern Mindanao Medical Center, P150.2-M , Quirino Memorial Medical Center P150-M , Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center, P146.2-M


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