Makabayan bloc moves to return House Bill 6069 to committee level

PROGRESSIVE partylists groups in Congress said they would initiate moves to return to the committee level House Bill 6069 converting 26 public hospitals into government corporations because it would definitely mean higher hospital fees for all.

Makabayan Coalition lambasted the railroading of House Bill 6069 saying the committee did not even include the measure as an agenda in the notice of meeting. Makabayan is a political coalition  comprised of eight Philippine progressive parties: Bayan Muna, Anakpawis, Gabriela, Kabataan, COURAGE, Migrante, ACT Teachers and Katribu.

According to Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño, “what the Committee on Health did was below the belt and borders on being a conspiracy. The hasty approval of the bill in the committee last Wednesday, May 16, violated the rules of the House of Representatives since stakeholders and affected sectors were not given sufficient notice, time and opportunity to air their concerns.

Casiño said he would move to recommit the measure to the committee next week for further deliberation.

As for his part Kabataan Partylist Rep. Raymond Palatino said that the move of the committee is patently underhanded and is just another means for the private-public partnership (PPP) program of the Aquino administration to take off. But this is just another name for privatization and would mean lesser budget for health services. Essentially the government is rescinding its responsibility to provide better health care to its people. Instead of allotting more funds for basic services like health and education the Aquino administration is opting to make a profit out of it,”

Meanwhile Gabriela Women’s party Rep. Luz Ilagan said that this would definitely be very detrimental to women and children because they are the majority of the patients in these hospitals.

Casiño further explained that with the experience with the 4 GOCC hospitals now, it is not far off that the public hospitals to be converted would become like malls or pawnshops. “To date in the Lung Center of the Philippines (LCP), only the services of the doctor is free, all the facilities, medicine, food, rooms have fees even for Class D patients, even the consultation at the out-patient department (OPD),”

“In the Philippine Children’s Medical Center (PCMC), poor patients are forced to be admitted as pay patients because they would be admitted as charity patients (there are always no beds available in charity wards). Many of these patients fall prey to the collateral system or pawning whatever valuables they have to the hospital so that they can check out. But with HB 6069 this is bound to get worse that is why we will do all we can to stop and reverse it,”  Casiño said.

The DOH-supervised hospitals to be converted into corporations are:: Cagayan Valley Medical Center, Veterans Regional Hospital, Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center, Ilocos Training and Regional Medical Center, Regional Medical Center, Dr. Paulino J. Garcia Memorial Research and Medical Center, Jose B. Lingad Memorial Medical Center, Bicol Medical Center (Naga City), Bicol Research Training and Teaching Hospital (Legaspi City), Quirino Memorial Medical Center, Jose R. Reyes Memorial Medical Center, Rizal Medical Center, Amang Rodriguez Medical Center, San Lazaro Hospital, Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center, Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center, Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital, Western Visayas Medical Center, Northern Mindanao Medical Center, Southern Philippines Medical Center, Zamboanga City Medical Center, Cotobato Regional and Medical Center, CARAGA Regional Hospital, Davao Regional Hospital, Mayor Hilarion A. Ramiro, Sr. Regional Center and Training Hospital.

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