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Davao City, Philippines

Go files 4 bills to boost PH healthcare system

May 25, 2020 - Monday 6:05 PM by MDM

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DAVAO CITY -- Senator Christopher Lawrence Go is pushing for four legislative measures that seek to strengthen and enhance the country's healthcare system as the country battles the novel coronavirus which he said has exposed gaps in the Philippine healthcare system.

“As chair of the Senate Committee on Health, I will make sure our healthcare system is improved as we work to overcome the COVID-19 crisis. Let us all learn from this experience and better prepare ourselves for any health emergency that may come,” Go said in a statement.

Senate Bill (SB) 1226 or the proposed DOH Hospital Bed Capacity and Service Capability Rationalization Act aims to authorize the Department of Health (DOH) to increase the bed capacity and service capability of its retained hospitals and to allow it to promulgate evaluation and approval guidelines.

Go said the bill seeks to streamline the process for approving changes in the authorized bed capacities and corresponding service capabilities of all DOH hospitals. 

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

Go also filed SB 1259 or the “Mandatory Quarantine Facilities Act of 2020” which mandates the establishment of quarantine facilities in every region in the country.

“Isolation is still the best course of action while there is no cure and vaccine for COVID-19 and other contagious diseases,” he said.

The bill will establish quarantine facilities in every region. To ensure the accessibility of the quarantine facilities to healthcare facilities, the proposed bill mandates that their locations be easily accessible to a DOH hospital and strategically located to ensure the safety of the community.

Go also filed SB 1528 which seeks to amend Republic Act 11332, also known as the “Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act.”

He said the bill will enhance disease surveillance and control in the country, such as having better capabilities in conducting more testing and intensive contact tracing in times of pandemics.

Another bill is SB 1451, also known as the “Medical Reserve Corps Act of 2020,” which seeks to establish a Medical Reserve Corps composed of all persons who have degrees in the field of medicine, nursing, medical technology, and other health-related fields but have yet to have their respective licenses to practice for reasons such as, but not limited to, not having taken and/or passed the licensure examinations in their respective professions.

Go said the four measures seek to complement the implementation of the Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa (BP2) Program which envisions equitable economic development among all regions of the country by ensuring that the needs of Filipinos in both urban and rural areas, including healthcare, are satisfactorily provided.

“Once we have well-equipped hospitals with increased bed capacities in the provinces, sufficient medical workers, and proper protocols in place for future health emergencies, we can assure Filipinos that a better life is waiting for them wherever they are in the country,” he said.