The House of Representatives approved on second reading the proposed bill, principally authored by Cong. Rene L. Relampagos, seeking to increase the bed capacity of the Governor Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital (GCGMH) to 525.

“The upgrading of Gallares Hospital is long-overdue,” the veteran lawmaker said. “In its current 225 bed capacity, it remains a miracle how the hospital can serve such a number of constituents who come to it for medical attention on a daily basis.”

GCGMH is a government-run teaching and training hospital in Tagbilaran and at the same time a referral center of patients from other provinces in Region VII. It does not only serve patients from the province but also patients from different parts of the region. The proposal to upgrade the hospital’s medical facility is also in line with the present thrust of the DOH to improve access to quality care and to scale up public effort to attain health goals.

Initially known as the Bohol Provincial Hospital, it opened on October 19, 1929 and was originally designed as a Regional Teaching and Training Hospital for Region VII. It was then an eight (8) bed-capacity hospital. The hospital was later named Governor Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital (GCGMH). To accommodate the increasing number of patients in Tagbilaran City and in the neighboring municipalities, the bed capacity was increased to one hundred fifty (150), then to two (200) hundred and finally to two hundred twenty five (225) beds under Republic Act No. 7266 which was enacted on March 20, 1992.

Relampagos further said, “It was in 1992 when the bed capacity of the hospital was last changed. It has been more than twenty five years!”

“It was a missed opportunity during the last Congress as a similar proposal was already approved by the Senate Committee. But now, I want to make sure that Gallares Hospital gets its needed upgrade. As they said, the proposed bill is a ‘legislation catching up with reality’”, he noted.

Also approved is the change of the name from Gov. Celestino Gallares Medical Hospital to Gov. Celestino Gallares Medical Center as recommended by the current president of the hospital.