Health group to gov’t: Ensure planned specialty hospitals provide quality care
MANILA, Philippines — A health advocate is calling on the government to ensure the specialty hospitals President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. ordered will provide quality service to the public.
Health for Alliance Democracy (HEAD) secretary-general Albert Pascual said Tuesday that while Marcos Jr.’s directive for creating specialty hospitals in provinces is a welcome development, some questions remain to be answered, including funding source and setup of such institutions.
“Wine-welcome natin ‘yung pahayag ng bagong Pangulo ng pagtatayo ng mga specialty hospitals sa mga probinsya dahil kailangang-kailangan talaga ito ng mga kababayan natin na hirap na hirap na sa bagsak ng sistemang pangkalusugan natin,” Pascual said during the online presser organized by the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan).
(We welcome the pronouncement of the new President on the establishment of specialty hospitals in provinces because it is urgently needed by our fellowmen who are already suffering due to our failed healthcare system.)
“Ang tanong dito, saan manggagaling ‘yung pondo? Ito ba ay popondohan ng gobyerno mismo at papatakbuhin ng atin pamahalaan, tulad ng ating mga pampublikong ospital? O ito ay popondohan ng Public-Private Partnership?” he then asked.
(The question, however, is where will the fund come from? Will this be funded and run by the government, like our public hospitals? Or will this be financed by the Public-Private Partnership?)
He further asked if the planned specialty hospitals will be government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCC), noting that employees in establishments under GOCCs are challenging since most remain contractual.
“So ang panawagan natin ay dapat siguruhin na magbibigay ito ng ito ng de kalidad na serbisyo kung magtatayo man ng mga kagaya ng mga specialty hospital sa ating mga probinsya, na kung sa ganoon, makikinabang ang ating kababayan,” the HEAD official said.
(So, our call is for the government to ensure that these specialty hospitals provide quality services so our people will genuinely benefit from them.)
In his first Sona, President Marcos Jr. vowed to establish more specialty hospitals in the provinces to enhance health care delivery to Filipinos, especially those living in far-flung areas.
Pascual also emphasized in the online press conference the need to increase the wage of healthcare workers as it will boost their morale.
“Dapat taasan na ng 25,000 yung suweldo ng bawat mangagawa ng kalusugan sa lahat ng pampublikong ospital at 50,000 para dun sa mga nurses natin,” he said.
(The wage of each healthcare worker in all public hospitals should be increased by P25,000 and P50,000 for our nurses.)
HEAD also called for the permanent hiring and deployment of one nurse and one midwife for each barangay and two doctors for each municipality to improve medical services to the people.
The call was in reaction to Marcos Jr.’s pronouncement that two doctors and two nurses would be deployed twice a week in regional health units in the provinces.
“Ang problema po ay hindi naman dalawang beses sa isang linggo lang ang pangangailangan ng serbisyong medikal ng ating mga kababayan dahil araw-araw po ay may pangangailangan na tignan ang kalusugan ng mga mamamayan dahil matindi po ‘yung kahirapan na dinadanas ng ating mga kababayan,” Pascual said.
(The problem is that our fellowmen do not just need twice-a-week medical attention because our people need healthcare every day as they go through extreme poverty.)
“Dapat ay maghire talaga ng permanent na isang nurse, isang midwife sa bawat barangay at mag-hire ng dalawang doktor sa bawat municipality. Ito sana ‘yung inaasahan natin na maging itsura ng primary healthcare at healthcare system natin lalong-lalo na po doon sa probinsya,” he added.
(The government should hire one permanent nurse, one midwife for each barangay, and two doctors for each municipality. Such a move is what we are expecting as primary healthcare and healthcare system, especially in the provinces.)
However, Pascual said that the most effective solution is for the government to provide free medical services and medicines in all public hospitals by allocating 10 percent of the Philippines’ gross domestic product to the health sector.
The government earmarked P1.9 trillion for social services to fund health-related programs and projects in this year’s national budget. This amount is 38 percent of the government’s spending plan for 2022. — Andy Hoo, INQUIRER.net intern
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