BAGUIO CITY – The chairman of the Senate Committee on Health assured local officials and residents that part of the budget of the national government next year will include the increase in the bed capacity of the state-run Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC) to be able to cater to the increasing number of patients from various parts of Northern Luzon seeking medical attention from the government’s tertiary hospital in the city.
Senator Joseph Victor Ejercito, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, said that he was ready to make the necessary representations with Senator Loren Legarda, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance, to include the required budget for the increase in the bed capacity of BGHMC from the current 500 bed capacity to at least 800 starting next year.
Aside from the upgrading of BGHMC, the lawmaker claimed that one of the priorities of his committee is to work on the continuous upgrading of the various tertiary, primary and secondary hospitals around the country to help cascade to the grassroots level the delivery of quality basic health services that will guarantee the improved health condition of people in the countryside.
Further, he claimed that the Senate Committee on Health is also working on the improvement of the government’s universal health care program so that quality health care will be provided to Filipinos through the various government agencies involved in the provision of health benefits, for their recovery from whatever illnesses they have contracted.
“The improvement of our universal health care program is a work in progress because it will be the backbone of our overall health care programs to be implemented for the benefit of the greater majority of our populace, especially those coming from the vulnerable communities,” Senator Ejercito stressed.
The senator claimed the government cannot implement the desired reforms at once because of the problem with finances. What is being prioritized are the key reforms that will be beneficial to more people while other reforms are now being placed on the pipeline for future consideration in whatever funds will be available to be allocated for such purposes.
According to him, there is a need to increase the bed capacity of BGHMC because it does not only cater to the health concerns of people from all walks of life from the different parts of Northern Luzon, considering its status as the major hospital north of Metro Manila.
He also explained that aside from increasing the BGHMC’s bed capacity, the health department is also trying to work on the putting up of the needed facilities to make the hospital one of the best state-of-the-art hospitals outside the National Capital Region (NCR) that is capable of attending to the complicated health needs of the people.
Ejercito claimed that regional, provincial and district hospitals all over the country will be recipients of the needed upgrading programs from the health department which has already been funded in next year’s budget. People will be able to observe a drastic improvement in the delivery of quality health care services by the said government hospitals operating around the country.
By Dexter A. See