Press Release
July 18, 2022


Senator Manuel "Lito" Lapid has filed a bill which aims to institutionalize the establishment of tertiary care hospitals in all regions of the country. The measure sprung from the need to have a quality health care system in the face of the pandemic and other diseases that some of our countrymen suffer from. With the growth in the number of infected persons, hospitals and other health facilities even in the National Capital Region reached their full capacities.

During the initial days of the pandemic, we only have the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) as the sole confirmatory testing laboratory for the virus in the whole Philippines. The situation is even worse in the provinces. According to the 2019 DOH Hospitals Profile, the National Capital Region has the most number of tertiary care DOH hospitals with 16. Regions I, II, and III have three each. Regions V, VI, VII, and XI have two each. Regions IV-A, VIII, IX, X, XII, and CAR have only one. Region IV-B and XIII do not have a level 3 hospital.

"Isang malaking dagok sa ating gobyerno at mga mamamayan ang pandemyang ating kinakaharap ngayon, pero naging pagkakataon din ito para makita natin ang malaking pagkukulang sa ating mga pasilidad na pang-medikal. Layunin ng aking panukalang batas na mapatayuan ng de kalidad na tertiary hospital ang lahat ng rehiyon sa ating bansa para makatulong sa pagsisigurong may matatakbuhang ospital ang ating mga kababayan oras na magkasakit sila di lamang ng COVID 19 kung hindi maging anumang karamdaman," Lapid explained.

Senator Lapid said that one way to improve the ailing condition of our health care system is to build and establish more hospitals all over the country, specifically new hospitals which are classified as tertiary care facilities. The mission is not only to give universal access to health care, but to give universal access to a health care institution with world-class quality medical services and are at par with international standards and best practices.

This proposed measure envisions that all of the regions will have their own tertiary care hospitals within five (5) years from its effectivity, with top priority being given to regions which do not have any regional hospital of whatever classification lower than tertiary care.

This bill also provides that provinces which are geographically isolated from their region's tertiary care hospital such as island provinces shall have the priority for the establishment of a tertiary care hospital of their own. To ease the budgetary burden to the government, new facilities need not be constructed for areas which already have regional hospitals - instead they shall only be considered for upgrading, modernization and conversion to a tertiary care hospital.

"Layunin ko rin na tulungan sa pamamagitan ng panukalang batas na ito, ang ating mga kababayang may karamdaman para hindi na nila kailangan lumuwas pa sa Metro Manila o sa malalayong lugar para lang makatanggap ng serbisyo ng isang tertiary hospital. Sa ganitong paraan, malaki ang mababawas sa gastusin ng mga Pilipino lalo 'yung may mga iniindang sakit. Oras na magkaroon ng tertiary hospital sa bawat rehiyon, mas malaki rin ang pagkakataon na maagapan ang karamdaman ng ating mga kababayan dahil may agarang lunas na higit na malapit sa kanilang pamayanan," Lapid added.

Once this measures becomes a law, the Department of Health (DOH) must formulate a prioritization plan for the purpose of implementing it, subject to the following priority considerations: * Regions which do not have a tertiary care hospitals; * Regions with provinces with significant population but which are geographically isolated (e.g. island provinces); * Regions with low population-to-tertiary care hospital ratio; and * Regions with existing level 2 hospitals that could be considered for upgrading, modernization and conversion to a tertiary care hospital.

An audit and inventory of the physical facilities, equipment and instruments as well as the personnel of the Regional Hospitals shall be conducted as well to determine the present classification of the respective regional hospitals. The result of the audit and inventory shall be the basis of the respective upgrade and modernization plan for each Regional Hospital.

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