Sen. “Bong” Go sponsored measures aimed at improving existing Department of Health hospitals.
The senator stressed on 25 January the need to constantly improve the country’s healthcare system especially amid the threat of COVID-19 and its variants.
“Sa gitna ng naglalabasang Covid-19 variants, dapat palagi nating palakasin pa ang ating healthcare system. Bago pa man ang pandemya, kulang na po ang mga kama sa mga pampublikong ospital.”
Go went on to recount his experiences conducting hospital visits where he witnessed the sorry state of many hospitals throughout the country.
“As I have recounted many times before, saksi po ako sa kalagayan ng ating mga kababayan sa pag-iikot ko sa mga ospital sa buong bansa. Nakakapanlumo pong makita na iyong ibang pasyente nasa corridor na ng ospital dahil walang available na kama.”
“Bukod sa problema kung papaano bibilis ang kanilang paggaling, nagiging isyu na rin po ang hawaan ng sakit pati na rin ang kalusugan at seguridad ng ating mga healthcare workers. Bigyan po natin sila ng pansin at ‘wag natin silang pabayaan,” he added.
Go explained that some of the measures are needed in light of the recent amendment or repeal of earlier laws which established or set the specific bed capacities of DOH hospitals. He added that some of the bills will also convert and upgrade sanitaria operated by the DOH as general hospitals.
“Since 2005, our sanitaria have been carrying out the dual function of general patient care and leprosy care. Though the numbers of leprosy cases are decreasing, its mandate of serving the general population has been steadily increasing through the years,” Go noted.
“We therefore need to officially acknowledge that our sanitaria functions as general hospitals already and increase their bed capacity to serve the general population,” he added.
The proposed measures seek to convert the Cotabato Sanitarium in Sultan Kudarat as a general hospital to be known as the Cotabato Sanitarium and General Hospital; the Sulu Sanitarium in Jolo into a General Hospital to be known as the Sulu Sanitarium and General Hospital; and the Western Visayas Sanitarium in Santa Barbara, Iloilo into a General Hospital to be known as the Western Visayas Sanitarium and General Hospital. All measures provide for the corresponding increase in bed capacities of said hospitals.
In addition, some of the measures aim to upgrade the Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital in Legazpi City, Albay into a general and subspecialty hospital to be known as the Bicol Regional Hospital and Medical Center; and the Don Jose S. Monfort Medical Center Extension Hospital in Barotac Nuevo, Iloilo into a tertiary hospital to be known as the Don Jose S. Monfort Medical Center.
Finally, he also sponsored bills to increase the bed capacity of several hospitals, including Dr. Paulino J. Garcia Memorial Research and Medical Center in Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija from 400 to 1,000 beds; Ilocos Training and Regional Medical Center in San Fernando City, La Union from 300 to 800 beds; Northern Mindanao Medical Center in Cagayan de Oro City, Misamis Oriental from 600 to 1,200 beds; and Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City from 1,200 to 1,500 beds.
Go reiterated that all these hospitals already exceed the ideal bed occupancy rate.