2022 budget covers ‘much needed support’ for govt hospitals, says Angara

FILE Senate Finance Committee chairperson Sonny Angara (Voltaire F. Domingo / Senate PRIB)

MANILA, Philippines — Senator  Sonny Angara assured on Tuesday that state-run hospitals were provided the “much needed support” in this year’s national budget in the face of the raging COVID-19  pandemic in the country.

“Based on what we are seeing today with the renewed rise in COVID-19 cases, the support for our health system, particularly our government hospitals remains essential,” Angara, chairman of the Senate committee on finance, said in a statement.

“While we had to work with limited resources, we made sure that the health sector would get as much funding as possible,” he stressed.

According to Angara, the UP-Philippine General Hospital (PGH)  was among  the government  hospitals that received significant funding under the 2022 national budget with close to P510 million in additional funds for infrastructure and various equipment, the senator pointed out.

Of the P510  million, P169.7 million was allotted for the improvement of the PGH’s Central Intensive Care Unit; P130 million went to the Dual Plane Angiogram Suite for the hospital’s patients requiring cardiac and vascular procedures; and P120 million for  the renovation and restoration of the historical Nurse’s Home Building now called “Bahay Silungan.

A total of P90 million was also allocated to the PGH for the design, installation, testing and commissioning of a fire protection system for its Central Block Building, the senator said.

“The fire that broke out at the PGH in May of last year was heartbreaking and also brought to our attention the need for interventions that would prevent something similar from happening again in the future,” Angara pointed out.

The East Avenue Medical Center (EAMC), meanwhile, received  a total of P656.8 million “to finance the requirements of the DOH-run hospital to upgrade its facilities and services.”

Angara said the funding for EAMC includes P127.6 million for the construction of a Multispecialty Catheterization Laboratory, P60 million for a CT Scan machine, P58 million for the purchase of neurosurgical equipment, and the renovation and upgrading of various facilities of the hospital.

The Lung Center of the Philippines, on the other hand, was  given P75 million in additional funding  this year to further improve  its services to patients suffering from lung cancer and other respiratory ailments.

Included in the budget is an initial funding of P25 million for  early detection of lung cancer, particularly the annual screening of up to 400 patients with risk factors for the deadly disease;  P20 million for the lung transplant program for patients with advanced lung disease; and P30 million for the procurement of a new Hospital Information System.

Upon the request of the Philippine Children’s Medical Center, Angara said, P8.5 million was also allocated for medical assistance to children with congenital heart disease that require surgery.

“Our government hospitals are the lifeline of poor Filipinos who require medical attention. Many of them also provide specialized care that is considered among the best in the country,” the senator said.

“We will continue to work for the improvement of these facilities so that more Filipinos can avail of the health services that they need regardless of their financial circumstances,” Angara added.


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