By Hannah Torregoza
Senator Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara is now seeking the passage of a bill increasing the bed capacity of the East Avenue Medical Center (EAMC) in Quezon City, a tertiary hospital under the jurisdiction of the Department of Health (DOH).
From the current 600 beds, Angara seeks to increase it by 1,000 as the EAMC is constantly operating at overcapacity due to so many patients being accommodated by the hospital.
Angara noted that the last time the EAMC was able to increase its bed capacity was in 1997 when Congress passed Republic Act 8345, which added 250 beds to its then 350-bed capacity.
Established in 1969, the EAMC has been providing quality service to marginalized Filipinos from Metro Manila and surrounding provinces.
“As the EAMC continuously provides quality health service for over 50 years to marginalized patients, it is only proper that the hospital be given support through a legislation that would increase their bed capacity to 1,000 to reinforce the center’s capabilities for the benefit of even more Filipinos,” Angara said.
Senate Bill No. 1291 also calls for the upgrading of the existing facilities, professional health care services and health human resource of the EAMC to complement the increase in its bed capacity.
Once enacted into law, the DOH Secretary will include the funding required for the increase in EAMC’s bed capacity, as well as the upgrading of the service facilities and professional health care services.
The additional bed capacity must be implemented within a year after the law’s enactment.
Angara said that currently, a DOH-run hospital can only increase its bed capacity and upgrade its service capability through legislation.
Because of this, Angara filed Senate bill no. 698 which seeks to authorize the DOH to set and approve the bed capacity and service capability of all of its hospitals.
“It makes sense that it is the DOH and not Congress that determines the requirements of these hospitals that are under its jurisdiction anyway,” he said.
“By doing this, these hospitals would be able to operate more efficiently and better serve its patients,” Angara emphasized.