Tuesday, February 18, 2014
Plan on Privatization of Government Hospitals Questioned
A senior member of the independent minority bloc in the House of Representatives called yesterday for the holding of a question hour that would focus on the Dept. of Health's plan to privatize 72 government hospitals in the country. Abakada Partylist Rep. Dela Cruz has filed a resolution asking the presence of Health Sec. Ona during the Lower House question hour to answer queries surrounding his admission that government plans to give up the operations of 72 public hospitals including specialty medical centers in Quezon City. Ona's disclosure drew sharp criticism from various sectors as the move expose government's inability to effectively carry out a public health program despite huge financial backing from Congress, said Dela Cruz. Gabriela Women's Partylist Rep. Ilagan denounced the DOH privatization plan, saying this would make medical help more in accessible to majority of Pilipinos. Last week a court issued a Temporary Restraining Order stopping privatization of the Philippine Orthopedic Center which is among the more popular government hospitals serving the poor. The Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital the only public maternal hospital in the country which has also been catering to the needy is also awaiting an impeding privatization plan. Ilagan, with fellow Gabriela Partylist Rep. De Jesus, filed a House Resolution 809 directing the Committee on Health to compel the Dept. of Health, Finance, Budget and Management and the National Economic Development Authority to disclose the blueprint of the modernization plan for Fabella and other public regional hospitals.
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