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Duterte signs bills upgrading hospitals

Sen. Bong Go is pushing for the upgrade of health facilities to improve the country’s healthcare system and make it more responsive to the needs of people especially in times of crisis.

MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte has signed three bills seeking to upgrade three local hospitals even as his chief ally in the Senate pushes for the streamlining of such upgrades.

Sen. Bong Go is pushing for the upgrade of health facilities to improve the country’s healthcare system and make it more responsive to the needs of people especially in times of crisis.

“We can feel insufficient health facilities and hospitals. That is why the legislative and the executive must work together to improve our health facilities in all parts of the country,” Go, chairman of the Senate committee on health, said.

Measures signed into law are House Bill 1477 which will increase the bed capacity of the Caraga Regional Hospital in Surigao City, Surigao del Norte from 150 to 500 beds (Republic Act No. 11472); HB 1799 which will upgrade the Talisay District Hospital in Talisay City, Cebu into a Medical Center to be known as the Cebu South Medical Center (RA 11473); and HB 5871 which will upgrade the Maria L. Eleazar District Hospital in Tagkawayan, Quezon into a Level III General Hospital to be known as the Maria L. Eleazar General Hospital (RA 11474).

The newly enacted measures are expected to improve delivery of quality medical and healthcare services in their respective areas.

“We thank President Duterte for swiftly signing these measures into law. With the help or our colleagues in Congress, we will work to improve the quality of services of public hospitals in the provinces,” Go said.

For the CRH in Surigao City, its average bed occupancy rate from 2017 to 2018 was at 207.37 percent – way above the national standard of 85 percent. Meanwhile, the TDH in Talisay City is the only DOH hospital in southern Cebu which also serves patients coming from neighboring Negros Oriental, Bohol and Siquijor provinces.

The MLEDH in Quezon province is the only public hospital located at the border of Calabarzon and Bicol. It is a Level I hospital with an authorized bed capacity of 25 beds only. In 2017, its bed occupancy rate breached 100 percent. Making it a Level III hospital will allow it to increase its bed capacity according to its hospital development plan.

“In every health-related bill that we worked on and passed into law, we could save a life of a fellow Filipino. As chairman of the Senate committee on health, I will continue to work on measures to improve the health services in all parts of the country,” Go added.

Late last year, Go also filed Senate Bill 1226 or the proposed Department of Health Hospital Bed Capacity and Service Capability Rationalization Act in recognition of the need to provide the government a faster approach in upgrading services in public hospitals.

The bill seeks to streamline the process for approving changes in the authorized bed capacities and corresponding service capabilities of all DOH hospitals. Through this bill, the process of upgrading hospital services will be easier and faster.

If passed into law, DOH will also be required to develop the Philippine Health Facility Development Plan which will guide the modernization and development plans of all health facilities in the country.

Credit belongs to : www.philstar.ca

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