By Mario Casayuran
Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, chairman of the Senate Health and Demography Committee, pushed yesterday for the passage of two House bills aimed at improving two government hospitals.
House Bills (HB) 6036 and 6144, were debated and approved during a committee hearing last week,
In his sponsorship speech during the Senate plenary session, Go said that HB 6036 seeks to increase the bed capacity of the Cagayan Valley Medical Center (CVMC), a Level-III DOH hospital in Tuguegarao City, Cagayan that caters to patients from Region II and nearby provinces of Cordillera Administrative Region, such as Apayao, Kalinga and Ifugao.
In 2018, CVMC recorded 16,155 hospital admissions. From 2018 to 2019, it had an average bed occupancy rate of 158 percent, which is way above the national standard of 85 percent.
HB6036 seeks to increase the bed capacity of CVMC from 500 to 1,000 beds.
“On the other hand, HB 614 aims to increase the bed capacity of the Las Piñas General Hospital and Satellite Trauma Center or the LPGH-STC.
At present, the LPGH is a 200-bed DOH hospital serving the cities of Las Piñas, Muntinlupa, Parañaque, Pasay, and Bacoor and Imus in Cavite.
Its bed occupancy rate from 2018 to 2019 averaged at 110.53 percent which is exceedingly above the national standard of 85 percent.
‘’Thus, the need to upgrade from 200 beds to 500 beds,” Go said.
‘’As we face the (coronavirus disease) COVID-19 pandemic, it is crucial to improve our government health facilities,’’ he added.
Go said overcrowding in public hospitals has been one of the weaknesses of the country’s health care system.
He noted that in 2018, almost 65 percent or 284 out of 437 public hospitals were overcrowded. This included 51 or 73 percent of DOH hospitals.
The Department of Health (DOH) has expressed its support to the passage of the bills to effectively manage the increasing number of patients.
“It is for these reasons that I am seeking this Chamber’s support for the immediate passage of these measures,” Go said.
Go also thanked Senators Cynthia A. Villar and Maria Imelda Josefa “Imee” R. Marcos for filing related Senate bills which were consolidated into the health committee reports.