HOUSE senior Deputy Majority Leader and 1st District Ilocos Norte Rep. Ferdinand Alexander A. Marcos has filed a bill that seeks to establish a Northern Luzon branch of the country’s specialty hospitals such as the Philippine Heart Center, the National Kidney and Transplant Institute, the Lung Center of the Philippines, the Philippine Children’s Medical Center, the Philippine Orthopedic Center, and the Philippine Cancer Center.
“Health facilities and services, in order to be beneficial to the people, must be adequate, affordable and ‘accessible.’ The problem with our health system is that the major specialty hospitals… are all located in the Metropolitan Manila area, specifically in Quezon City,” Marcos said in the explanatory note of House Bill (HB) 3752 filed last August 17.
“Most Filipino patients residing outside the capital region, afflicted as they are with their ailments or injuries, are additionally burdened with the additional cost of transportation and accommodation.
This sometimes-insurmountable issue of distance tends to deny said patients with quality healthcare which in effect renders illusory the constitutional guarantee of ‘right to health’ of our people,” the lawmaker added.
The proposed Satellite Specialty Hospitals for Northern Luzon Act, with an initial funding of P5 billion, provides that the branches of the six abovementioned specialty hospitals and other specialty hospitals be located in one center or compound in between the Municipalities of Badoc, Ilocos Norte and Sinait, Ilocos Sur under the supervision of the Department of Health (DoH).
Under the bill, these satellite specialty hospitals in Northern Luzon will be administered by the Board of Trustees of their mother units and will have an initial bed capacity of 500 each.
A Medical Director appointed by the President of the Philippines upon the recommendation of the Board will head the branches.
All existing tax exemptions and privileges of the Philippine Heart Center, National Kidney and Transplant Institute, Lung Center of the Philippines, Philippine Children’s Medical Center and
Philippine Cancer Center will also be applicable to their Northern Luzon branches. The proposed funding for the project in 2023 is P5 billion.
The measure seeks to extend medical and heart, kidney, liver, pulmonary, musculoskeletal and cancer treatment services to the general public; help prevent, relieve or alleviate heart, kidney, liver, pulmonary and cancer afflictions and maladies of the people especially the poor and less fortunate in life, without regard to race, creed, color or political belief.
The bill also encourages the training of physicians, nurses, medical technicians, health officers and social workers, as well as scientific research in these fields.