Angara: 2022 GAA covers spending for PH’s public healthcare system

Published January 18, 2022, 9:17 AM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Senate Finance Committee chief Senator Sonny Angara on Tuesday gave assurance that the General Appropriations Act (GAA) 2022 contains the much-needed funding support for state-run hospitals and the strengthening of the country’s public healthcare system.

Angara pointed out that the country’s public healthcare system was among Congress’ top priorities during the deliberations on the then proposed 2022 national budget.

“Based on what we are seeing today with the renewed rise in COVID-19 cases, the support for our health system, particularly our government hospitals remains essential,” Angara said in a statement.

“While we had to work with limited resources, we made sure that the health sector would get as much funding as possible,” the senator added.

For instance, Angara said the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) received close to P510-million in additional funds for infrastructure and various equipment. It’s Central Intensive Care Unit, got P169.7-million was provided for the improvement of its facilities.

Another P130-million was allocated for the Dual Plane Angiogram Suite for the hospital’s patients requiring cardiac and vascular procedures; P120-million was also allocated to the PGH for the restoration of the historical Nurse’s Home building called “Bahay Silungan.”

Angara said the revival of the “Bahay Silungan” will also serve as a home for the PGH’s hardworking health workers and even the transient patients.

On top of the P130-million and P120-million, P90-million was also allocated to the PGH for the design, installation, testing and commissioning of a fire protection system for its Central Block Building.

“The fire that broke out at the PGH in May of last year was heartbreaking and also brought to our attention the need for interventions that would prevent something similar from happening again in the future,” Angara said.

Meanwhile, the East Avenue Medical Center (EAMC) received a total of P656.8-million under the national budget to finance the requirements of the DOH-run hospital to upgrade its facilities and services.

This includes P127.6-million for the construction of a Multispecialty Catheterization Laboratory, P60-million for a CT Scan machine, P58-million for the purchase of neurosurgical equipment, and the renovation and upgrading of various facilities of the hospital.

Also, the Lung Center of the Philippines (LCP), a state-run specialty hospital, received P75-million in additional funding so it can provide better services to patients suffering from lung cancer and other respiratory ailments.

An initial funding of P25-million was provided to LCP to support the screening of up to 400 patients with risk factors; another P20-million was also provided for its lung transplant program for patients with advanced disease.

The Philippine Children’s Medical Center (PCMC) was also given P8.5-million to provide more medical assistance to children with congenital heart disease that require surgery.

“Our government hospitals are the lifeline of poor Filipinos who require medical attention. Many of them also provide specialized care that is considered among the best in the country,” Angara said.

“We will continue to work for the improvement of these facilities so that more Filipinos can avail of the health services that they need regardless of their financial circumstances,” the lawmaker stressed.