MANILA – Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography sponsored two more bills to further improve the delivery of medical and healthcare services of local hospitals especially in the provinces amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
He presented during the plenary session of the senate on Monday for first reading Senate Bill (SB) Nos. 6030 and 6144. SB 6030 aims to increase the capacity of Las Piñas General Hospital and Satellite Trauma Center (LPGH-STC) from 200 to 500 beds as well as upgrading service facilities and professional healthcare services.
Moreover, SB. No 6144 aims to increase the bed capacity of the Cagayan Valley Medical Center (CVMC) in Tuguegarao City from 500 to 1,000 beds since it caters patients from two regions.
Based on the data obtained by the office of Sen. Go, the LPGH-STC had already exceeded its bed capacity rate from 2018 to 2019 at 110.53 percent while the CVMC had an average occupancy rate of 158 percent during the same period.
Sen. Go explained that it is necessary to increase the room capacity of the two public hospitals because they already exceeded the national standard of 85 percent, which means the quality of services of these hospitals may also suffer.
“In 2018, CVMC recorded 16,155 hospital admissions and an average bed occupancy rate of 158 percent, which is way above the 85 percent national standard,” he said.
The issue concerning the overcrowding in public hospitals surfaced more prominently during the Covid-19 pandemic. “This has been one of the weaknesses of the country’s health system,” he further said.
Committed to improve the health facilities and services of the country, Sen. Go had also sponsored five separate bills in May to establish or to improve existing public health care facilities in different parts of the country. Among them are the Bicol Women and Children’s Hospital (Camarines Sur), Quirino Memorial Medical Center (Quezon City), Western Visayas Medical Center (Iloilo City), Siargao District Hospital (Surigao del Norte), and Malita District Hospital (Davao Occidental).