Duterte signs bills upgrading Quirino Memorial Medical Center, other hospitals

Published November 22, 2020, 5:31 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

In line with providing quality health care for Filipinos especially during the coronavirus pandemic, President Duterte has signed a law increasing the bed capacity, health services, and medical personnel of Quirino Memorial Medical Center (QMMC) in Quezon City.

President Rodrigo Duterte

The improvement of the QMMC is among the new seven laws signed by the President on the enhancement of hospitals, some of which are located in Surigao del Norte, Davao Occidental, Cagayan, Las Piñas City, Iloilo City, and Camarines Sur. 

Under Republic Act No. 11501, the bed capacity of the Quezon City hospital will be raised from 500 beds to 1,000 to reflect its hospital development plan.  QMMC is among the dozens of hospital COVID-19 referral hospitals of the Department of Health.

The law stated that the professional health care services and facilities of the QMMC will also be upgraded to conform with higher bed capacity. The existing workforce of the QMMC will also be increased correspondingly.

“The Secretary of Health shall immediately include in the program of the DOH the implementation of this Act, the funding of which will be included in the annual General Appropriations Act,” the law read.

Other hospital laws signed by the President are the following:

– Republic Act No. 11500 upgrades the Siargao District Hospital in Dapa, Surigao del Norte into a Siargao Island Medical Center, increases bed capacity from 50 to 100 beds, upgrades medical facilities and personnel;

– Republic Act No. 11499 expands the services of the Malita District Hospital in Malita, Davao Occidental and renames it as the Malita Women’s and Children’s Wellness Center. The center will provide speciality healthcare service on obstetrics and gynecology, prenatal, postnatal, and neonatal care, lactation programs, children’s immunization, other women and pediatric care and animal bite treatment; 

– Republic Act No. 11498 increases the bed capacity of the Cagayan Valley Medical Center in Tuguegarao City, Cagayan from 500 to 1,000 beds. Its professional health care services and facilities and hospital workforce will also be increased;

– Republic Act No. 11497 increases the bed capacity of the Las Piñas General Hospital and Satellite Trauma Center in Las Piñas City from 200 to 500 beds, upgrades health care services and personnel;

– Republic Act No. 11496 increases the bed capacity of the Western Visayas Medical Center in Mandurriao, Iloilo City from 425 beds to 700 beds, upgrades health services and personnel; 

– Republic Act No. 11495 provides the establishment of a  Bicol Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Pamplona, Camarines Sur with a 200-bed capacity. The hospital will specialize on the care of women and children and shall focus on their health care, prenatal testing, obstetrics and gynecological services, pediatrics care, lactation program, nutrition services, neonatal care, immunization services, postpartum depression support, education classes for parenting, and women’s and children’s health awareness;

The seven laws, signed by the President last November 13, have recently been published in the Official Gazette.

The country’s cases of coronavirus have reached more than 418,000 as of November 22. The death toll reached 8,123 while the recoveries soared to 386,486.