By Hannah Torregoza
The Senate has approved on third and final reading three measures that seek to increase the bed capacity of three government hospitals.
The three measures pertain to House Bill Nos. (HB) 6114, which increases the hospital beds at Luis Hora Memorial Regional Hospital in Bauko, Mt. Province; HB 6742, increasing the hospital beds of the Zamboanga City Medical Center of this city; and HB 6621 which incrementally increases the bed capacity of Adela Serra Ty Memorial Medical Center in Tandag City, Surigao del Sur.
Senator Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito, chair of the Senate committee on health and demography, said he hopes the increased bed capacity in the aforementioned hospitals will improve their facilities to better serve the people in these areas.
“We are at a time when Filipinos have become more aware and conscious about their health situation. Our people have slowly learned the true value of our government health system,” Ejercito said.
Hospital bed capacity in the Luis Hora Memorial Regional Hospital will be increased from 100 to 200 beds, while the bed capacity at Zamboanga City Medical Center will be increased from 500 to 800 beds.
On the other hand, the bed capacity of Adela Serra Ty MMC’s will be increased for a period of five years as determined by the Department of Health (DOH).
“As our people adapt to the modern times and needs in the aspect of their health, so should our government hospitals,” Ejercito said.
“They must be well-equipped and able to cater to the influx of patients who have entrusted their well-being to our healthcare system,” he added.
Ejercito also said that the increase in hospital bed capacity reflects the “increase in the trust of our people in our public hospitals.”
“Our people have embraced the idea of integrating themselves and their families in the protection and care of our government. Let us repay the people for their confidence in the government by giving them good service,” he stressed.
Ejercito earlier noted that the Philippines needs an additional 42,856 hospital beds to achieve its target number of hospital beds, since the country now only has 88,394, or 67 percent, of the 131, 250 beds required to achieve the ideal ratio between hospital beds and the population.
Because of the shortage in facilities and space, he said some people have shunned going to public hospitals which have resulted to the worsening health, “and even death.”
“It is a truly lamentable situation, and urgent action is needed to help our countrymen,” he said.