PH healthcare system in ‘bad shape,’ regional hospitals needed — Lapid
MANILA, Philippines — Citing the country’s health system’s “bad shape” and “dire need of upgrading,” Senator Lito Lapid has sought the establishment of tertiary care hospitals in all regions.
Lapid noted that when the coronavirus pandemic first hit the country, there was only one confirmatory testing laboratory for the virus, which is the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine.
“The situation is even worse in the provinces,” he said in his explanatory note of Senate No 1505, which contains his proposal.
For the entire Mindanao, he said testing for the coronavirus disease 2019 could only be done at the Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City.
Meanwhile in the Visayas area, there are only two testing laboratories—the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu and the Western Visayas Medical Center in Iloilo, the senator said.
“The prognosis for our health care system, as revealed by how we responded to this pandemic, is bleak — it is in bad shape and is in dire need of upgrading,” Lapid said.
“One way that we can improve its ailing condition is to build and establish more hospitals all over the country, specifically new hospitals which are classified as tertiary care facilities.”
Lapid said the bill aims not only to give universal access to health care, but also “to give universal access to a health care institution with a world-class quality medical services and are at par with international standards and best practices.”
“Hindi natin pwede hayaang laging hirap sa pagresponde ang ating mga ospital lalo sa panahong may matinding sakit tayong nilalabanan,” he said in a separate statement.
(We cannot allow our hospitals to always have difficulty responding especially at a time of a health crisis)
“Kung madagdagan lang sana ang mga tertiary care hospitals sa bansa, malaking tulong ito sa ating mga kababayan lalo na ang mga galing probinsya para hindi na nila kailangan pang lumuwas sa Metro Manila o sa ibang mga syudad para lang makatanggap ng sapat at dekalidad na atensyong medikal,” he added.
(If we can have additional tertiary care hospitals in the country, it would be a big help to our countrymen especially those in the provinces as they would no longer have to travel to Metro Manila or to other cities just to get sufficient and quality medical attention.)
Under the bill, all regions must have at least one tertiary care hospital operating within five years from the effectivity of the measure.
Top priority should be given to regions which do not have any regional hospital of whatever classification lower than tertiary care, Lapid said.
To ease the budgetary burden to the government, he said, existing regional hospitals should just be considered for upgrading, modernization, and conversion to a tertiary care hospital.
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