Senate Majority leader Juan Miguel Zubiri is pushing for the establishment of specialty hospitals across the country,
Specialty hospitals included the Philippine Heart Center, the Lung Center of the Philippines, the Philippine Children’s Medical Center, and the National Kidney and Transplant Institute, as well as the Philippine Cancer Center, established under the National Integrated Cancer Control.,
Being from Mindanao, Zubiri said he is committed to decentralize the country’s health care system.
The senator also said he wanted to ensure the delivery of quality health care to all parts of the country.
“We’re quite proud that we have developed a very competent medical care system in Bukidnon, with zero-balance billing for indigent patients, long before the zero-balance billing of the Amended Universal Healthcare Act,” he added.
Zubiri hails from Bukidnon and began his public service career as a Representative of the third district of said province.
“It’s so important that we strengthen our medical care system in our provinces.”
At present, he said people from the provinces still need to go to Manila for treatment at specialty hospitals.
If they cannot go to Manila, Zubiri said they would have no options but to go to private hospitals, which are very expensive.
According to the Senate leader, this is a reality for millions of Filipinos, so they would rather not seek medical treatment.
“It can take months to get a slot, if it’s not a life or death situation. We should not wait for that situation,” he further stated.
Instead of these people going to Manila, Zubiri urged the government to bring specialty hospitals to the provinces.
“So we have started working with local government units to do this,” he said.
Zubiri said they passed last year the Bacolod City General Hospital Act to cater to the residents of Bacolod and nearby cities and municipalities. This hospital was also established in an effort to
decongest the Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital, which was the only tertiary hospital in Negros Occidental at the time.
“We are also doing this in Iloilo, with our bill establishing a tertiary hospital for the city,” he added.
“We will be having a hearing on the bill this week, and hopefully we can get it passed this Congress.”
“But we want to go beyond general hospitals. Of course, our efforts are continuing to build general hospitals, especially for places that don’t have tertiary hospitals yet.
But along with these, Zubiri zaid they will push for the establishment of regional specialty hospitals.
“At the very least, we want to put up counterpart heart, lung, kidney, cancer, and children’s centers in Visayas and Mindanao and in Northern and Southern Luzon, aside from the ones in Metro Manila.”