OFW hospital to start offering free services by June 2022
MANILA, Philippines —The country’s first hospital dedicated to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) could begin providing free services by June, a Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) official said Wednesday.
Labor Undersecretary Renato Ebarle said the OFW Hospital and Diagnostic Center’s construction is located at Barangay Sindalan in San Fernando, Pampanga is 15.7 percent done as of May 6.
“Ang target natin, ang first patient admission natin ay magiging June of 2022. Ang construction hopefully, this will be finished by December of 2021 pero marami pang aasikasuhin na mga final touches, so ipagpalagay natin na makakatanggap na ng pasyente by June 2022,” he said in an online press briefing.
(Our target date for patient admission is June 2022. Construction hopefully should be finished by December 2021, but we need to make some final touches, so maybe we’ll open in June 2022.)
Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III earlier formed a committee to oversee hospital equipment purchases and hiring of medical staff. Ebarle co-chairs the committee with Labor Undersecretary Ana Dione.
In early 2020, the DOLE and Pampanga signed an agreement for the construction of the medical facility, but construction was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The DOLE earlier said that the hospital would give free services for OFWs securing medical certificates covering laboratory examinations and other requirements for their overseas deployment. The department added that the facility would also offer free services to the dependents of OFWs.
Other than DOLE and Pampanga provincial government, the Department of Health, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation, and Bloomberry Cultural Foundation are also involved.
In the P550 million budget for the 100-bed hospital, DOLE said P400 million from Bloomberry was allotted to the building construction and P150 million from PAGCOR to purchase equipment.
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