Militant lawmakers on Saturday denounced President Benigno Aquino III and its “Daang Matuwid” health policy regime of privatization that made public hospital services inaccessible to mothers highlighted by the Department of Health’s closure of the Fabella Maternity Hospital.
Gabriela party-list Rep. Emmi de Jesus said President Aquino was proven to be a heartless and insensitive president.
De Jesus also took the DoH to task, stating that there can be no justification for the closure and forcible cannibalization of remaining functions of the world’s largest maternity hospital into several health units.
“It is an outrage that for the past six years, amid the spike in maternal deaths the Aquino government continues to prioritize selling off hospitals to private investors,” De Jesus said.
Instead of defending Fabella and assuring the daily load of 2,000 poor mothers basic maternity and birthing services, the DoH is keen on defending the eviction notice from the landowners Home Guarantee Commission, the agency that gave the hospital until June 9th to leave, De Jesus said.
The Gabriela solon said this will further jack up Aquino’s already embarrassing hikes in maternal and infant deaths and morbidity and failures to meet health development goals.
For his part, Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate described the Aquino administration’s imminent closure of the Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital Medical Center as “akin to further strangulation of the country’s maternity health care system.”
“The pending closure of the Fabella Hospital, a national, major public maternity institution, is a clear violation of our people’s the right to health, particularly of the indigent patients. It is another painful blow to our poor people who are already suffering the brunt of our already dismal and inadequate public health care system,” Zarate said.
In the past years, Zarate said the Aquino administration even “allowed the further deterioration of Fabella despite the dire need of our poor pregnant mothers for free healthcare.”
“The deterioration of Fabella and other hospitals is done on purpose: it intends to pull the plug on public services,” Zarate stressed.
Last Thursday, Zarate and fellow Bayan Muna party-list Rep. Neri Colmenares filed House Bill 2699 urging the House Committee on Health to look into the imminent transfer and abolition of Fabella Hospital, which may result in the disruption of health services to patients in the country’s prime maternity hospital.
The hospital caters to at least 2,000 daily patients of mostly mothers and babies. Meanwhile, some 1,000 doctors, nurses and health workers will also be affected by the closure of Fabella, Zarate noted.