Press Release
April 12, 2010

Villar vows to put up more PGH-type hospitals

Nacionalista Party (NP) standard-bearer Manny Villar vouches for additional Philippine General Hospitals (PGH) in the country.

"There should be more PGHs," said Villar when asked to comment during a radio interview on the ongoing bickering within the country's largest government hospital administered by the University of the Philippines (UP).

Villar noted that the PGH's directorship row is an internal problem, but he was quick to add that the government should establish this type of hospital in key areas throughout the country.

Majority of the more than 500,000 patients who annually seek treatment at the country's largest government hospital administered by the UP System are indigents.

He said this is the reason for establishing more PGHs to address the medical needs of poor Filipinos.

According to Villar, the NP strongly believes that no Filipino should be denied medical and health services due to poverty.

He cited the 1987 Constitution which obliges the state "to make essential goods, health and other social services available to all the people at an affordable cost and to endeavor to provide free medical care to paupers."

Despite this constitutional mandate, the NP presidential bet noted that the state has failed and has continued to fail miserably in providing easily accessible, affordable and appropriate medical services to the great majority of its people.

He said nationwide surveys showed the high cost of medicines, and health care is frequently cited as among the top concerns of the Filipino people.

Because of this, Villar and his party vowed to expand basic health coverage and health insurance for the poor.

He also promised to channel public resources and essential health services to the neediest by protecting consumers from wasteful and poor quality medical practices and abusive practices in both private and public health sectors, ensuring the availability of well-trained and professional health workers and ensuring the strict implementation of the Cheaper Medicines Act of 2008.

Prof. Noel Leyco, executive director of the Center for Legislative Development, an independent policy research center, said their latest study showed that the government drug policy that sets price ceilings to some essential medicines has been ineffective in reaching the poor.

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