Senator Richard J. Gordon on Monday said it is time to turn dreams of putting up extensions of the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) in the Visayas and Mindanao into reality.
In a privilege speech at the resumption of the Senate regular session, Gordon, Philippine Red Cross (PRC) chairman, said this plan had been talked about only in dreams and the fire that hit the PGH in Manila on Sunday morning should prod the national government to help turn these dreams into reality.
The PGH, founded 113 years ago, is too cramped for its patients and hospital staff, he pointed out.
Gordon said that the University of the Philippines (UP) is putting up another PGH in Diliman, Quezon city.
PGH has 30 operating theaters and 11 others for operating systems for less serious operations.
Gordon then called on the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) to prepare to pay PGH for the replacement of machines destroyed by the fire and to restore the burnt sections of the hospital.
Cause of the PGH fire was electrical, he added.
Gordon likened the PGH as a horse that has been fed and watered but it also gets tired.
The last time it had an overhaul was during the Marcos administration where then First Lady Imelda R. Marcos, now Ilocos Norte representative, went to help and the pace of improving it ‘’was very fast.’
‘’This is one area where we see forceful leadership can make it happen,’’ he added.
Gordon earlier said the ‘’Calamity Fund’’ in the national budget should now be used to repair the damage at PGH.
‘’We can’t afford PGH operations crippled,’’ he added.
PGH officials estimated that it would take three to four months before its operations could be normalized.
In the past, several senators had given portions of their ‘’pork barrel’’ allocations to PGH.