Bong Go

Bong Go sponsors measures establishing new DOH hospitals

January 27, 2022 People's Journal 72 views

ON Tuesday, January 25, Senator and Chair of the Senate Committee on Health Christopher “Bong” Go sponsored measures establishing new Department of Health hospitals in a bid to improve the country’s healthcare system further.

Citing the COVID-19 pandemic which forced the country to acknowledge the need to improve its health delivery system, Go stressed the importance of establishing new public hospitals, especially in the countryside.

“Sa pandemyang ito, nakita natin kung gaano kahalaga ang investment sa kalusugan. Nahihirapan tayo ngayon dahil hindi natin ito binigyan ng pansin nitong nagdaang mga dekada. Kaya ngayon, nagkulang ang ating mga ospital, kama at equipment para labanan ang pandemya,” noted Go in his speech.

“Kailangan din nating palakasin pa ito dahil hindi natin alam kung ilang pandemya pa ang darating. Huwag po nating hintayin na tuluyan nang bumigay ang healthcare system natin at malagay sa panganib ang buhay ng ating mga kababayan,” he added.

Go pointed out that establishing hospitals run by the national government should not be treated as a burden but an investment, noting, “Dahil sa huli, kapag hindi yan nagawa ng LGU, national government din ang sasalo sa problemang iyan.”

The senator added that the national government must pursue initiatives to establish these much-needed hospitals as they are critical in aiding more Filipinos across the country.

“Ngayon, natuto na po tayo at hindi na natin dapat hintayin na LGU ang magpatayo ng sarili nilang ospital dahil, una, dalawa o mas marami pang probinsya ang makikinabang dito. To be clear, these are not just district hospitals; these are Medical Centers and General Hospitals,” stressed Go.

He noted that despite the increase in the tax allocation of local government units this year, this might still not be enough for them to establish their own hospitals. Furthermore, Go pointed out that some LGUs might choose not to prioritize the improvement of their healthcare system.

“Kahit na tumaas ang tax allocation ng LGUs simula ngayong taon, maaaring hindi ito sasapat para makapagtayo at operate ng isang tertiary hospital,” said Go.

“Kahit na tumaas na ang tax share ng LGUs, hindi natin hawak ang priority ng LGUs. Hindi natin madidiktahan kung saan nila ilalaan ung pondo. Sa ibang mga LGU, kulang pa rin ang increase na ito para sa healthcare services nila,” he added.

The new DOH hospitals to be established under Go’s sponsored measures include the Ilocos Sur Medical Center, Samar Island Medical Center in Western Samar, Southern Luzon Multispecialty Medical Center in Quezon Province, Northwestern Cagayan General Hospital in Cagayan, Joni Villanueva General Hospital in Bulacan, and Northeastern Misamis General Hospital in Misamis Oriental.

As for funding, Go said most of the hospitals already have funding for the initial construction from previous years, and all have lots ready to be donated to the DOH. Go further explained that under the 2022 Unprogrammed Appropriations, the government has PhP4 billion for Health Facilities Enhancement Program and PhP9.2 billion for operation of DOH hospitals in the regions.

“Ibig sabihin po kapag may excess collection tayo pwede na nating simulan ito this year. So kung noon po ang concern po natin ay funding, ngayon po meron na tayong sources of funds and other possible sources if we have excess collections,” he remarked.

Additionally, Go noted that according to the DOH, regulatory requirements for the establishment of all the hospitals in consideration have been met.

“Kailangan po ng suporta ng ating mga kababayan. Hindi natin pwedeng pabayaan ang mga nangangailangan,” he stressed.

“It is for these reasons, Mr. President, that I ask your support for the passage of these measures,” he ended.

On the same day, Go also sponsored measures upgrading existing DOH hospitals.

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