Health workers oppose hospital ‘corpse’ bill

HEALTH workers expressed opposition to the recent moves of the government to corporatize the 26 public hospitals through the House Bill 6145, House Bill 6069 and Senate Bill 3130.

These bills are anti-people and anti-health worker thus will deliver the death sentence to the already dismal state of people’s health”, said Mr. Jossel Ebesate, President Alliance of Health Workers.

“Amidst the economic difficulties of the people, combined with rising cost of hospital fees, expensive medicines and spreading diseases like dengue and leptospirosis, the government is hell bent on corporatizing public hospitals. At present fees are charged to the patient for all medical and other supplies used during treatment. Most public hospitals are charging the use of emergency room or require deposit before treatment. Some hospitals reported that their charity beds are being charged now,” he said.

Philhealth as advertized by the Department of Health (DOH) to pay for hospital services is not enjoyed by the beneficiaries. Beneficiaries of Philhealth have complained that they have to shell out money to buy medicines and supplies which are not made available in hospitals. They have still to pay the rest of their hospital bills.

Corporatization will affect the security of tenure and well being of public health workers. At present, unfilled plantilla positions in the hospitals are not being filled up but the government is hiring contractuals. Benefits like hazard pay and other benefits are not funded as provided under Magna Carta of Public Health Workers, he said.

Now, Congress and DOH are determined to pursue the said bills to law to legalize privatization by opening these 26 public hospitals to private investors as business partners and for profit, Ebesate said.

At the same time, the Aquino government is removing whatever little subsidy left for public hospitals. Concretely, the government delivers income and profit to big foreign and local business and abandoning its responsibility in providing health services to the people in return for the people’s payment of taxes.

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