by Aileen P. Refuerzo / PIO
The city council joined the call to oppose moves for the corporatization of 26 public hospitals in the country, including the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center, as proposed in House Bill 6069 by Bacolod Rep. Anthony Golez and Senate Bill 3130 by Sen. Franklin Drilon.
The council approved a resolution after hearing the position of BGHMC Director Manuel Factora during an inquiry where the statement of opposition of the Community Health Education, Services and Training in the Cordillera Region (Chestcore) was also considered.
Mayor Mauricio Domogan cautioned the public to also consider the advantages of the proposed set-up in line with the intent of the government’s public-private partnership program.
“I am sure there are also advantages that will go with corporatization because it is a program meant to improve the system through partnership and not to sacrifice the interest of our city and the marginalized sector. I am sure there is a portion in the proposal that will safeguard the interest of our indigent constituents,” the mayor said.
The mayor said the plan is intended to make hospital costs equitable in such a way that patients who can afford the services will pay the appropriate expenses while services for the indigent will continue to be subsidized.
The city council called for the inquiry in line with the proposed resolution of Councilor Betty Lourdes Tabanda to determine the advantages and disadvantages of the proposed corporization of BGHMC and other hospitals nationwide.
Factora said the plan will be beneficial in terms of improved quality of services, upgraded equipment and facilities as a result of improved financial resources.
As to the feared increase in the cost of hospital services, Factora said this will still be subject to the decision of the hospital management.
Chestcore along with other non-government groups, have drummed up opposition to the plan saying it will trigger the skyrocketing of hospital service costs and make it beyond the reach of the ordinary people.
“The corporatization of public hospitals will deprive people of much-needed health services and worsen the already ill state of health of the country. It is a privatization scheme that will allow entry into and control of health services by the private sector for super profits,” the statement read.
Chestcore said this has been proven by past experiences with the privatization of other public hospitals such as the Philippine Heart Center, Lung Center of the Philippines, National Kidney and Transplant Institute, and the Philippine Children’s Medical Center where health services are now beyond access by the poor.
The proposed bills seek the conversion of Department of Health-supervised public health care facilities such as the BGHMC into government-owned-and-controlled corporations.