By Charissa Luci-Aitenza
Bohol 2nd district Rep. Erico Aristotle Aumentado has sought the creation of a Philippine National Infectious Disease Hospital and Research Center (PNIDHRC) in all the 17 regions, in the wake of increasing COVID-19 cases in the country.
The chairperson of the House Committee on Science and Technology filed House Bill No. 6648 seeking the creation of the proposed Infectious Diseases Hospital and Research Center that will act as the principal hospital and research facility responsible for the treatment, control, prevention, and research of highly communicable diseases in the Philippines.
“The pandemic has emphasized the importance of a dedicated hospital and research center catering to the treatment, prevention, control, and study or research or existing and emerging highly infectious diseases, whether from natural or man-made sources to better prepare us for the next deadly outbreak,” he said in his bill’s explanatory note.
He said the center will conduct research on various infectious diseases and advocate government actions and policies to solve medical problems.
“It will also seek to improve the management of infectious disease, including the ill-effects to the health of humans from various hazardous chemicals,” Aumentado added.
He proposed that hospitals and research centers conduct surveillance and clinical researches on important pathogens, including bacteria, mycobacteria, fungi, and viruses.
He said the PNIDHRC would also perform molecular epidemiology to investigate the mechanisms contributing the drug resistant pathogens.
“The proposed bill will address the lack of institutional capacity to implement comprehensive public health management programs to protect the public from serious health and Socio-economic problems brought about by fatal infectious diseases like COVID-19,” the House leader said.
HB 6648 allocates P20-billion funding for the initial operation and maintenance of the hospitals and research facilities of the PNIDHRC, including the land acquisition, construction and acquisition of hospital and research equipment, furniture and personnel services.