MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) plans to put up specialized centers for neonatal illnesses as well as heart, lung, kidney, and cancer diseases in at least seven public hospitals outside Metro Manila by 2025, according to Maria Rosario Vergeire, officer in charge of the DOH.
Vergeire said in a press conference on Friday that the health agency started last year its P15-billion Philippine Health Facility Development Program, which aims to strengthen the healthcare system of various medical institutions in rural areas.
Among the DOH-run hospitals she named under the program were the Baguio General Hospital in Benguet province, Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and Medical Center in Batac City, Ilocos Norte; Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital in Legazpi City, Albay; Batangas Medical Center in Batangas City; Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City; Northern Mindanao Medical Center in Cagayan de Oro City; and Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City.
“We have initially identified and prioritized neonatal, heart, lung, kidney, and cancer as part of these multi-specialty centers,” Vergeire told reporters. “Work and discussions are ongoing on how we can build these specialty centers.”
The health official pointed out that this will not only be an infrastructure program but a capacity-building one catered to specific ailments.
“We will slowly do this. This is not just about the infrastructure, but about the special capacity [of the hospitals] … this is part of the continuing efforts to specialize our big hospitals in the different regions in the country,” she said.
The DOH has also partnered with the Philippine General Hospital, which she said was the country’s “national university hospital,” to pave the way for the creation of more specialized centers.
Among the specialized centers currently in operation are the Philippine Heart Center, Lung Center of the Philippines, the National Kidney and Transplant Institute, and the Philippine Children’s Medical Center, all of which are in Quezon City.