Go lauds Duterte for laws benefiting DOH-run hospitals

Paolo Romero - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Bong Go has lauded President Duterte for signing into law 11 bills that seek to establish and improve Department of Health-run hospitals.

Go, Senate committee on health and demography chairman, said these measures will help improve the capacity of the public health care system to provide quality care and services to Filipinos, especially in the grassroots, amid the ongoing global health crisis.

The measures, which Go sponsored in the Senate, will establish hospitals or upgrade existing ones in Abulug, Cagayan; Bocaue, Bulacan; Villanueva, Misamis Oriental; Sultan Kudarat, Maguindanao; Cagayan de Oro City; Cebu City; Daraga, Albay; Jolo, Sulu; Santa Barbara, Iloilo; San Fernando City, La Union; and Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us the importance of investing in health. We struggled at the start of the pandemic because we failed to strengthen the health care system in the past decades,” Go said in Filipino.

He previously expressed his dismay over finding many patients staying in hospital corridors because of the lack of enough beds.

“Some hospitals have already exceeded their bed occupancy rate with some reaching as high as 400 percent,” Go said as he gave reassurance that the committee on health would continue prioritizing the improvement of the health care system.

Last April 19, Duterte also signed into law four bills which establish hospitals or upgrade existing ones in Tayabas City, Quezon; Calbayog City, Samar; Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija; and Candon City, Ilocos Sur.

Go reminded concerned government agencies to ensure the availability of funds for the upgrade and establishment of hospitals, adding that both the national and local government units must work together to provide funding for much-needed health services.

Meanwhile, senators asked yesterday the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) to defer its scheduled increase in premiums as members are still reeling from the effects of the pandemic.
   Sen. Panfilo Lacson, who is running for president, said while the increase is provided by law, the state health insurance firm can still defer it.

Senate President Vicente Sotto III, who is Lacson’s vice presidential running mate, took exception to the statement of PhilHealth that the increase was because the chamber did not pass a law to defer the hike.



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