RV-FS#08, Series of 1999
With only 214,531 projected population in 1998, the island province of Catanduanes had the lowest population in the Bicol region. It also had the least number of hospitals, at nine. Seven of these hospitals were government-owned, while two belonged to private entities. The combined bed capacities of these hospitals reached only 326, also the lowest among provinces. Catanduanes, however, had a near ideal ratio of 1:658. This means that there is a hospital bed for every 658 persons in Catanduanes. According to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) Region V, the ideal bed-to-population ratio is 1:500.
Next to Catanduanes was the province of Albay with a ratio of 1:1,054, which was close to the region's average bed-to-population ratio of 1:1,252. Meanwhile, the remaining bed-to-population ratio ranking was as follows:Camarines Sur, 1:1,302; Camarines Norte, 1:1,396; Sorsogon, 1:1,606; and Masbate at 1:1,614.
In terms of number of hospitals, Albay had the most, at 41. It was followed by Sorsogon, Camarines Sur, Masbate, Camarines Norte, and Catanduanes, with 32, 22, 18, 12, and 9, repectively.
Meanwhile, there were more private hospitals (83) than government ones (51) in the whole region. This was also true in the individual provinces, except for Catanduanes and Sorsogon. Both provinces had more government than private hospitals.