Press Release
March 9, 2020

Senate okays upgrading of hospital facilities

The Senate today approved on third and final reading four bills seeking to increase the bed capacity and upgrade the capabilities of several hospitals to improve the delivery of basic health services in the country.

Sen. Christopher Lawrence "Bong" Go, chairman of the Committee on Health and Demography, said increasing the bed capacity of the Caraga Regional Hospital in Barangay Washington, Surigao City, Surigao del Norte (House Bill No. 1477) from 150 beds to 500 beds and the Bicol Medical Center (Senate Bill No. 640) from 500 beds to 1,000 beds would make the hospitals more capable in catering to the influx of patients in their respective areas and nearby places.

"I have personally seen the need to improve our health facilities and to increase the number of hospital beds during my visits to our government hospitals all over the country," Go said.

"I saw the deplorable situation where our patients were forced to lie on halls or corridors because the hospital is full. It is not only unhygienic but very cruel and inhumane to the patients as well as to their families. They deserve better," he added.

Go cited a 2018 Department of Health (DOH) data which showed that almost 65 percent of public hospitals nationwide are overcrowded. According to DOH, the Philippines has a one to 1,083 bed to population ratio, which is beyond the recommended ideal ratio of one is to 1,000.

"We are short of more than 40,000 hospital beds nationwide and this figure is only expected to increase even more as the health care requirements of our people expand and as the population of our country grows," Go said.

The Senate likewise approved House Bill No. 5871 which sought to upgrade the Maria L. Eleazar District Hospital in Yagkawayan, Quezon into a Level III General Hospital and House Bill No. 1799 which would upgrade the Talisay District Hospital in Talisay City Cebu into a Medical Center to be known as the Cebu South Medical Center.

"As the world faces a global threat with the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, the readiness of our government hospitals to provide quality, available and efficient health services is of paramount importance," Go stressed.

As legislators, he told colleagues, it is their duty to enact measures that would help address the lack of appropriate facilities, hospital beds and equipment in government hospitals.

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