Sunday, June 24, 2012

Group opposes corporatization of public hospitals

A PROGRESSIVE women's group expressed opposition Saturday to a Senate bill that will turn public medical facilities into government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs) because it will only result to higher hospital fees.
The House Bill No. 6069, an act corporatizing public hospitals, was already passed in the House of Representatives on May 16, 2012. The House bill was authored by the Bacolod Representative Anthony Golez.
After its passage in the lower house, Senate Bill No. 3130 or the National Government Hospital Corporate Restructuring Act of Senator Franklin Drilon will then be presented to the Senate after the opening of Congress on July 31.
In an interview Saturday at the People's Park, Mary Anne Sapar, secretary general of the Gabriela-Southern Mindanao, said the privatization will deprive Filipinos of their full access to health security.
"But this is in conflict with their goal to lower down mortality rate," she pointed out, adding that it will deny indigent Filipinos access to health care.
The privatization, she said, is anchored on President Benigno Aquino III's banner program the public-private partnership.
The government has a total of 26 hospital assets, two of which are in Davao Region. They are the Southern Philippine Medical Center (SPMC) in the city and the Davao Regional Hospital (DRH) in Tagum City.
Gabriela is also seeking the City Council's help to oppose the passage of the Senate Bill through an SP resolution. Councilor Leah Librado, chair of the committee on Women and Children, is yet to present the resolution to the council.
Also, she added that the senate bill will be a threat to the security of tenure of the employees of the state-run hospitals, considering the investments of private corporations for state-of-the-art equipment.
"High-tech equipment na ang gamiton, less na ang mga employees (High-tech equipment will be used instead of employing people)," she said.
The progressive group is planning to conduct a nationwide campaign opposing the Senate bill starting next month.