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Panel approves construction of Coast Guard hospital

A panel in the House of Representatives has recommended for plenary approval the proposed substitute bill proposing the construction of the Philippine Coast Guard hospital.

The House Committee on Transportation, chaired by Rep. Cesar Sarmiento of Catanduanes, approved the measure which substitutes House Bill 6090 authored by Rep. Federico Sandoval II of Malabon City.

The bill proposes the construction of a hospital for the PCG personnel and their dependents to uplift the moral and welfare of its personnel and utilize the full potential of the very capable PCG medical corps.

Sandoval said that after being separated from the Philippine Navy, the privileges of the PCG provided by the Armed Forces of the Philippines  had stopped, including medical benefits.

“At present, the PCG has its Coast Guard Medical Service, a medical dispensary responsible for providing administrative medical requirements of its personnel and operational medical services during calamities and maritime incidents,” Sandoval, vice chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations, said.

The proposed hospital shall be known as the Philippine Coast Guard General Hospital and shall be constructed and built in the Coast Guard Base, Taguig, Lower Bicutan, Taguig City.

One purpose of the PCG General Hospital is to provide comprehensive and total health care services to all personnel and employees of the Philippine Coast Guard, their dependents and the retired uniformed personnel, he said.

The construction of the PCG hospital shall complement the existing package of services under the health care program so as to include preventive, promotive, diagnostic, curative and rehabilitative programs.

The hospital targets to monitor the condition of patients and to generate relevant information and data in aid of policy information.

Another goal of the PCG General Hospital is to conduct medical examination of all the trainees of the PCG to ensure their physical and mental capability.  

It shall be administered by a Board of Directors composed of the Secretary of Health as ex-officio chairperson; the Secretary of Transportation as ex-officio vice-chairperson; with the Commandant and Deputy Commandant of the Philippine Coast Guard and Command Surgeon of the Philippine Coast Guard Medical Service as members.

Under the bill, the Board of Directors of the Philippine Coast Guard General Hospital shall be mandated to formulate and implement measures and programs to attain the objectives of the Philippine Coast Guard General Hospital and develop a program of patient care and hospital administration.

Similarly, it shall be the responsibility of the Philippine Coast Guard General Hospital Board of Directors to organize the structure of the said hospital in accordance with the staffing pattern approved by the Department of Budget and Management and provide training for all hospital personnel so that the highest professional level of patient care may be maintained in accordance with the requirements of the DOH, among others.

Prior to the approval of the bill, Rep. Joey Salceda raised several concerns about the proposed PCG hospital.

He said his main problem regarding the PCG hospital was that it was not provided in the bill that it would be a Department of Health-retained hospital.

At the same time, Salceda said the bill did not specify the specialty of the hospital, saying the requirements of a PCG hospital is catastrophic medicine and therefore what is required is a specialty level 4 hospital dedicated to the service.

Salceda said they would fine-tune the bill when they take it up in the plenary session.

Topics: House of Representatives , Philippine Coast Guard hospital , Cesar Sarmiento
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