Go sponsors more bills to extend the capacity of 2 hospitals during pandemic
MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go has sponsored two more local hospital bills to further improve the delivery of medical and health care services, especially in the provinces during the COVID-19 pandemic.
These were in addition to many other health-related bills that the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, which he chairs, had already tackled in series of hearings these past days.
During the Senate plenary session on Monday, June 1, Go sponsored and sought his colleagues’ support for the immediate passage of two House bills:
- House Bill No. 6036, which aims to increase the bed capacity of Las Piñas General Hospital and Satellite Trauma Center (LPGH-STC) from 200 to 500 beds, and upgrade its service facilities and professional healthcare services
- House Bill No. 6144, which seeks to increase the bed capacity of the Cagayan Valley Medical Center (CVMC) in Tuguegarao City
According to Go, the LPGH-STC had already exceeded its bed occupancy rate from 2018 to 2019 at 110.53%, while CVMC recorded an average bed occupancy rate of 158% in the same years as it catered to many patients from two regions.
“We aim to increase the bed capacity of the Las Piñas General Hospital and Satellite Trauma Center or the LPGH-STC. Currently, the LPGH is a 200-bed DOH hospital serving the cities of Las Piñas, Muntinlupa, Parañaque, Pasay, and Bacoor and Imus in Cavite,” Go explained. “[This] is exceedingly above the national standard of 85%. Thus, the need to upgrade from 200 beds to 500 beds. ”
“In 2018, CVMC recorded 16,155 hospital admissions. From 2018 to 2019, it had an average bed occupancy rate of 158%, which is tremendously above the national standard of 85%. Thus, the bill seeks to increase the bed capacity of CVMC from 500 to 1,000 beds,” Go added.
The issue of overcrowding in public hospitals became more obvious during the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to Go, this “has been one of the weaknesses of our health care system.”
The senator cited that in 2018 almost 65% — or 284 out of 437 — public hospitals were already over their limit in terms of bed capacity and patient admittance.
“This included 51 or 73% of our DOH hospitals,” Go said.
He also underscored the need for Congress to act urgently on health-related measures during the pandemic.
“As we face the COVID-19 pandemic, it is crucial to improve our government health facilities,” he said.
Other hospital bills filed earlier
Last May 27, Go also sponsored five local bills — one to establish the Bicol Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Camarines Sur and four others to expand the capacity of the Quirino Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City, the Western Visayas Medical Center in Iloilo City, the Siargao District Hospital in Surigao del Norte, and Malita District Hospital in Davao Occidental.
“I have the honor to sponsor several local hospital bills which are aimed towards the improvement of some of our government hospitals,” Go said during last week’s session.
He said the bills would complement the Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa (BP2) Program, as most modern hospitals being located in Metro Manila where people tend to migrate for treatment.
“Improving health capacity and upgrading capability of hospitals in the provinces would help enhance the health and overall well-being among the entire Philippine population,” Go said.
Aside from the local hospital bills, the senator had also earlier pushed for legislative measures that seek to further strengthen and enhance the country’s health care system.
Among these bills are Senate Bill No. 1226, or the proposed DOH Hospital Bed Capacity and Service Capability Rationalization Act, which aims to authorize the Department of Health to increase the bed capacity and service capability of its retained hospitals and to allow it to promulgate evaluation and approval guidelines.
Go also filed Senate Bill No. 1259, or the Mandatory Quarantine Facilities Act of 2020, which mandates the establishment of quarantine facilities in every region.
The bill mandates that quarantine facilities should be accessible to a DOH hospital to ensure the safety of the community.
Go also filed a bill seeking to strengthen the country’s efforts in disease surveillance and epidemiologic investigation — SB 1528, which seeks to amend the Mandatory Reporting of Notifiable Diseases and Health Events of Public Health Concern Act.”=
In addition, he also filed 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.
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