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Seven hospital bills on 3rd reading as Bong Go seek ways to improve health care

July 29, 2020 - Wednesday 12:07 PM by MDM

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Seven bills that will upgrade hospital care and services in different health facilities in the country have passed the third reading in the Senate on Tuesday, July 28. Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, chair of the Senate Committee on Health, sponsored these bills recognizing the dire need to upgrade health facilities all around the country. This need has been highlighted by the challenges caused by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in the country.

These bills include House Bill 2444, which provides for the establishment of Bicol Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Pamplona, Camarines Sur; and HB 6218, which expands the services of Malita District Hospital and rename the facility to Malita Women’s and Children’s Wellness Center in Malita, Davao Occidental.

The other five bills that passed the third reading in the Senate sought to increase the bed capacity, capacitate further the healthcare services, and authorize the increase of the respective medical personnel. 

These are HB 6035, which seeks to increase the bed capacity of the Western Visayas Medical Center in Mandurriao, Iloilo City from 425 beds to 700 beds; HB 6365 upgrading Siargao District Hospital in Dapa, Surigao del Norte into a Medical Center and increasing its bed capacity from 50 to 100 beds; HB 6499, which seeks to increase the bed capacity of Quirino Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City from 500 beds to 1,000 beds; HB 6036, which aims to increase the bed capacity of the Las Piñas General Hospital and Satellite Trauma Center from 200 beds to 500 beds; and HB 6144 for the increase of the bed capacity of Cagayan Valley Medical Center in Tuguegarao City, Cagayan from 500 beds to 1,000 beds.

“I would like to express my gratitude to this august chamber for supporting these measures that will improve and further capacitate some of our government hospitals,” Go said in his manifestation. 

“This health crisis has highlighted the need to address the lack of appropriate facilities and equipment in our government hospitals, most especially in the provinces,” he added.

In his previous statements, Go has been vocal about the importance of these measures saying that this does not only boost the capacities and capabilities of health facilities but also provide better access to government services throughout the country to complement the Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa Program.

"Improving health capacity and upgrading capability of hospitals in the provinces would help enhance the health and overall well-being for the entire Philippine population," he added.

Aside from measures upgrading hospitals, Go has also been pushing for several legislative measures to improve the health care system in the country. 

Among these is his filed Senate Bill 1226 or the proposed Department of Health (DOH) Hospital Bed Capacity Rationalization Act. This bill aims to authorize DOH to increase bed capacity and service capability of its retained hospitals. This will also allow the DOH to promulgate evaluation and approval guidelines without going through legislative processes.

Go also filed SB 1259 or the “Mandatory Quarantine Facilities Act of 2020.” This mandates the establishment of quarantine facilities in every region in the country, strategically located and are accessible to a DOH hospital to ensure accessibility of these quarantine sites.

Go is also seeking the approval of his SB 1528 which aims to amend the "Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act” and strengthen the country’s efforts in disease surveillance and epidemiologic investigation.