‘More hospitals needed to care for the poor’

SENATORIAL candidate Rep. Martin Romualdez of Leyte on Tuesday vowed to push for the creation of more public hospitals in the countryside as a show of "malasakit" (compassion) to the plight of indigent patients.

Romualdez, a lawyer and president of the Philippine Constitution Association, stressed the need to put up new public hospitals that would cater to the health concerns of poor people by allocating more funds to the Department of Health under the country's annual national budget.

"We have to improve the country's health care system by creating new public hospitals that would truly provide free health care services to the indigents as our malasakit to the people," Romualdez, who ran unopposed in the last polls and a former chairman of the House committee on ethics and privileges, explained. "The free health and medical services should be more accessible to many poor families."

"I want to make health and medical services more accessible to as many families as possible," Romualdez, head of the House Independent Bloc and a three-term congressman who is running for the Senate under a platform anchored on compassionate governance, stressed.

Romualdez made the statement as he maintained his opposition to the proposal to privatize some hospitals in the country like the Philippine Orthopedic Center, Dr. Jose Fabella Medical Hospital, San Lazaro Hospital, Dr. Jose R. Reyes Memorial Medical Center among others.

Instead of privatizing them, Romualdez said the DoH should be given bigger allocation of the annual national budget to ensure adequate health care system for everyone, especially those from the poor and disadvantaged sectors.

"Instead of privatizing public hospitals, what we should do is to allocate more funds to the DoH for the creation of new hospitals to boost the health care system in the country. Otherwise the government could be held liable for abandoning government's mandate of providing adequate health care system or malasakit for Filipinos especially to the disadvantaged and marginalized sectors," Romualdez pointed out.

Romualdez recalled that the glory days of health care service for Filipinos happened during the time of the late President Ferdinand Marcos when the country's best public hospitals had been built like the National Kidney and Transplant Institute, Heart Center of the Philippines, Lung Center of the Philippines.

"We should preserve public hospitals especially the best performing health care facilities," Romualdez stressed. "I am against the privatization of government hospitals as this would mean abdication of the responsibility of the State to protect and promote the health of the people as mandated by the Constitution."

Sourcee: The Standard

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