Go pushes for more people-oriented laws

Published January 12, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

In line with his advocacy to provide better quality and more accessible medical and health care services for all Filipinos nationwide, Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go has filed a legislative mea­sure to help improve the capacity and service capabilities of public hospi­tals in responding to the needs of the people.

Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go (Senator Bong Go's Official Facebook Page / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)
Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go (Senator Bong Go’s Official Facebook Page / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Go seeks to authorize the Department of Health (DOH) to set and approve the bed capacity and service capability of the 73 DOH-retained hospitals in various parts of the country.

Senate Bill (SB) No. 1226, the pro­posed DOH Hospital Bed Capacity and Service Capability Rationalization Act of 2019, aims to “expedite the process for improving the capacity and capability” of the hospitals, as stated in the explanatory note of the bill.

“Under current regulations, a DOH hospital can only increase its bed capacity and improve its service capability through legislation,” the senator said.

He noted that there should be a more efficient way of enhancing capabili­ties of public hospitals and, at the same time, empowering the DOH to fulfill its mandate of improving healthcare in the country.

“Ayusin po natin ang proseso para matulungan ang ating mga kababayan na nangangailangang magpagamot. Kapag maayos ang kalusugan ng mga Pilipino, mas dadali ang pag-asenso ng bayan,” Go said as he emphasized the importance of health in making citizens more productive.

SB 1226 requires the DOH to “provide Congress, through the Committee on Health of the House of Representatives and Committee on Health and Demog­raphy of the Senate, an annual report of hospitals with approved bed capaci­ties, along with the necessary funding requirements.”

The report will be the basis of Con­gress in including the funding require­ments of the hospitals in the annual General Appropriations Act.

SB 1226 also obliges the DOH to “develop the Philippine Health Facility Development Plan (PHFDP) to guide the modernization and de­velopment plans of all government health facilities, and in order to access capital outlay investment through the Health Facilities Enhancement Pro­gram of the DOH and other national government capital outlay investment mechanisms.”

The bill further directs the secretary of health to “include in the Depart­ment’s programs the funding require­ments for the adjustment in bed capac­ity and service capability of each DOH hospital in accordance with the PHFDP and the hospital’s modernization and development plan.”

Go said he filed the bill because Republic Act No. 11223, the Universal Health Care Law, mandates “a people-oriented approach for the delivery of health services that is centered on people’s needs and well-being.”

He noted that DOH hospitals “often (serve) patients beyond their autho­rized bed capacities” and “are further constrained by the lack of adequate staffing, maintenance and operating resources,” resulting in “longer waiting times for patients and delays in their treatment.”

He also cited the 2017 PHFDP, which stated that the ratio of general hospital beds to the population is 1:1,142. Go said the ideal ratio is 1:1,000.

In his visits to public hospitals around the country, Go has observed the need to further enhance these in­stitutions which are lacking basic ne­cessities, such as beds, equipment and even funding to adequately address the medical needs of the community.