Press Release
May 28, 2020

Bong Go highlights need to continue boosting country's healthcare system amid COVID-19 pandemic; sponsors bills to capacitate and improve government hospitals

Recognizing the need to improve government hospitals especially in times of crisis, Senator and Chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography Christopher Lawrence "Bong" Go sponsored several local hospital bills to further improve the delivery of medical and healthcare services to the public.

In a virtual Senate health committee session on Wednesday, May 27, Senator Go pushed for the passage of five bills to establish the Bicol Women's and Children's Hospital, and further capacitate Quirino Memorial Medical Center, Western Visayas Medical Center, Siargao District Hospital and Malita District Hospital.

"I have the honor to sponsor today several local hospital bills which are aimed towards the improvement of some of our government hospitals," Go said, adding that it is crucial to take these measures during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Senator Go also said that these legislative measures will boost the capacity of hospitals, especially in the provinces. Go added that this will complement the Balik Probinsya, Bagong Pag-asa (BP2) Program, citing that most modern hospitals are located in Metro Manila where people migrate in order to be treated.

"We aim to capacitate our government hospitals, especially in the provinces. This is also in line with the Balik Probinsiya initiative of the government," Go said.

"Improving health capacity and upgrading capability of hospitals in the provinces would help enhance the health and overall well-being among the entire Philippine population," he added.

During the said session, Senator Go seeks the establishment of the Bicol Women's and Children's Hospital in Camarines Sur. The Senator said that the bed to population ratio in the province is at 1:1,260. This ratio which is more than the Department of Health national standard of 1:1,000.

"Ako sa kakaikot ko rin po sa buong bansa, napakadaming pong hospital. Minsan nakahilera nalang diyan sa tabi sa corridor ang dalawang pasyente sa isang kama. Kaya lalo na sa panahon ngayon, nagkakahawaan na dahil sa kakulangan ng ating health facilities," Go said.

Go also seeks to increase the capacity of the Quirino Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City from 500 to 1,000 beds, citing the overcapacity of the health facility in previous years.

"QMMC has an average bed occupancy rate of 268% from 2015 to 2017. This means it operates more than twice its capacity. Hence, the urgent need for an upgrade," Go said.

Senator Go also included Western Visayas Medical Center in Iloilo City to increase its bed capacity from 425 beds to 700 beds. The Senator also seeks to make WVMC an apex hospital in the Western Visayas region that will consist of various healthcare facilities.

"The Universal Health Care Act requires the establishment of province-wide health systems, which consist of accredited health facilities and functional referral systems. In line with this, the Department of Health envisions WVMC to be an apex hospital in Western Visayas," Go said.

For Mindanao, Senator Go moved to upgrade Siargao District Hospital in Surigao del Norte into a Level 2 general hospital to be known as the Siargao Island Medical Center, citing that the island only has five district hospitals which have limited capabilities. Go also emphasized the need to improve health facilities in the island, saying that he himself was a witness to how people would flock from Siargao to farther areas just to be treated.

"Witness po ako diyan. Marami pong lumalapit sa amin doon sa Davao humihingi ng tulong noong nasa city hall palang si Presidente. Thus, we seek to upgrade the Siargao District Hospital."

Lastly, Senator Go seeks to upgrade the Malita District Hospital in Davao Occidental to the Malita Women's and Children's Wellness Center. The Senator said that the upgraded health facility will provide healthcare services on prenatal, postnatal, and neonatal care, lactation programs, children's immunization, other women and pediatric care.

The Senate will be tackling next week two more local bills that aim to increase the bed capacity of the Cagayan Valley Medical Center and the Las Piñas General Hospital and Satellite Trauma Center.

Ending his sponsorship speech, Go urged his colleagues to support the passage of the measures, saying that such initiatives will enhance the capabilities of government hospitals across the country to look after the wellbeing of the people.

"It is our duty as legislators to enact measures that would help address the lack of appropriate facilities and equipment in our government hospitals, most especially in these crucial times," Go said.

"It is for these reasons that I am for the immediate passage of these measures," he added.

News Latest News Feed