Sandro bill targets creation of satellite specialty hospitals in Northern Luzon

Senior Deputy Majority Leader and Ilocos Norte 1st district Rep. Sandro Marcos has filed a bill that seeks to fulfill his father's wish of bringing specialty hospitals closer to the countryside so that they can serve more people in need.

Ilocos Norte 1st district Rep. Sandro Marcos (contributed photo)

Rep. Marcos filed in the current 19th Congress House Bill (HB) No. 3752, or the proposed Act establishing satellite specialty hospitals in Northern Luzon to provide access to specialized medical care, appropriating funds therefor, and for other purposes.

In a Facebook post over the weekend, Rep. Marcos said he filed the measure in line with what his father, President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., said in his July 25 State of the Nation Address (SONA).

"Health facilities and services, in order to be beneficial to the people, must be adequate, affordable, and "accessible". The problem with our health system is that the major specialty hospitals, namely, the Philippine Heart Center, the National Kidney and Transplant Institute, the Lung Center of the Philippines, the Philippine Children's Medical Center, the Philippine Orthopedic Center, and the Philippine Cancer Center, are all located in the Metropolitan Manila area, specifically Quezon City," the younger Marcos said in his explanatory note.

"Most Filipino patients residing outside the capital region, afflicted as they are with their ailments and injuries, are additionally burdened with the additional cost of transportation and accommodation. This sometimes insurmountable issue of distance tends to deny said patients with quality healthcare which in effect renders illusory the constitutional guarantee of "right to health" of our people," he added.

As such, the five-page HB No. 3752 aims to establish the Northern Luzon branches for the aforementioned speciality hospitals.

The neophyte lawmaker said the purpose of the bill is to "extend medical and heart, kidney, liver, pulmonary, musculoskeletal and cancer treatment services to the general public; to help prevent, relieve or alleviate the heart, kidney, liver, pulmonary and cancer afflictions and maladies of the people especially the poor and less fortunate in life, without regard to race, creed, color or political belief".

It is also meant to "encourage and/ or undertake the training of physicians, nurses, medical technicians, health officers and social workers on the practical and scientific conduct and implementation of heart, kidney, liver, pulmonary, musculoskeletal and cancer treatment services, and related activities".

As per the measure, the satellite specialty hospitals in Northern Luzon will be established and located in one center or compound in between the municipalities of Badoc, Ilocos Norte and Sinait, Ilocos Sur.

They will be placed under the supervision of the Department of Health (DOH).

"Hoping this will be of help to our kababayans who have to go all the way to Manila in order to avail of these services!" Rep. Marcos's Facebook post read.