LA TRINIDAD, Benguet – The House of Representatives approved on third and final reading House Bill (HB) 6171 that seeks to re-nationalize the Benguet General Hospital (BeGH) and increase its existing 200-bed capacity to 400 beds to improve the delivery of health care services not only in the province but also in other parts of the Cordillera.
Benguet caretaker congressman and Anti-Crime and Terrorism through Community Involvement and Support (ACT-CIS) Party-list Rep. Eric Go Yap informed officers and members of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines (LMP) Benguet chapter during a meeting Thursday afternoon that right after the resumption of the 2nd regular session of Congress, he will personally bring the matter to the attention of Senator Christopher Lawrence ‘ Bong” Go, chairman of the Senate committee on health, for the passage of the required counterpart bill to ensure that the same will be passed by the end of the year.
Yap, who chairs the House committee on appropriations, pointed out that once that the BeGH re-nationalization will be signed by the President into law before the end of the year, the provincial government will be relived of its financial obligation for personal services, maintenance and other operating expenses and capital outlay for the hospital because the same will be shouldered by the health department.
By 2022, the lawmaker added that funding for the construction of multi-level structures and the purchase of state-of-the-art units of health equipment could already be included in the annual budget of the agency that will translate to the significant improvement in the delivery of health care services to the people and the capacity of the hospital to treat complicated health cases being referred to the facility.
HB 6171 authored by Congressman Yap was filed in the House of Representatives early this year and was approved on second reading only several weeks ago before the some was approved on third and final reading last Wednesday.
Congressman Yap urged concerned sectors of the province to continue supporting the passage of the pending measure in the Senate so that the timetable for its enactment into law will be achieved primarily because of the need to significantly improve the health care services of government hospitals to help in decongesting health facilities around the archipelago.
Congressman Yap underscored that the re-nationalization of the BeGH will substantially contribute to the revolving role of the hospital to the universal health care by having an optimum clinical performance in case management through incentive mechanism; improvement quality of patient care with a good working environment and access provision to quality health care facilities and health promotion incentives.
According to him, once the BeGH will be under the direct supervision of the DOH, the same could provide the facilities, full salaries and benefits of officials and employees and with the facilities, and with salaries of employees would eventually translate to much improved health care services.
In 1969, BeGH was established by virtue of Republic Act (RA) 5955 that jumpstarted its operation with a 25-bed capacity and later increased to 50 beds.
Photo by:Armando M. Bolislis