Specialized hospitals will develop in PH

MORE hospitals and specialty centers will be built across the country as the Department of Health (DoH) kicks off the implementation of the Philippines Health Facilities Development Plan (PHFDP).

The health officer in charge, Maria Rosario Vergeire, said the PHFDP will involve the creation of multi-specialty centers, prioritizing medical centers specializing in neonatology, heart, lung, kidney and cancer.

Vergeire said the DoH implemented the PHFDP even before President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. outlined his goal to establish regional specialty hospitals during his first State of the Nation address last month.

Among the regions that would be prioritized for the creation of specialty units are Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, Cordillera Administrative Region, Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon), Mimaropa (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan), Bicol and other hospitals in Visayas and Mindanao.

She also identified hospitals such as Baguio General Hospital, Mariano Marcos Hospital and Medical Center in Batac City, Ilocos Norte, Batangas Medical Center, Regional Teaching and Training Hospital in Bicol in Legazpi City, Cebu Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center, North Mindanao Medical Center. in Cagayan de Oro and the Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City, where specialist services will be expanded.

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She said the creation and upgrading of hospitals and centers for other specialized services will cost around 15 billion pesos from 2021 to 2025.

“We’re going to do it slowly, and it’s not just [about health] the infrastructure, but also the specialized capacity [of our hospitals]”, Vergeire said during a press briefing on Friday.

She said the DoH was trying to emulate the example of Cotabato Regional Hospital, which is now capable of heart bypass surgery and other specialized operations.

Meanwhile, Vergeire said Marcos urged the DoH to strengthen its partnership with the private sector after meeting with the Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC) healthcare group last Thursday.

PSAC members who attended the meeting were Chief of Council Sabin Aboitiz, Paolo Borromeo of Ayala Healthcare Holdings, Head of Healthcare Sector, Clinton Campos-Hess of Unilab, Dr Nicanor Montoya of MediCard Philippines and OCTA researcher Fr. Nicanor Austriaco.

Vergeire said the DoH has seen opportunities to build partnerships with the private sector, such as improving service delivery networks that will expand services in rural health units, especially in remote areas. .

“We urged them to help us so that we could have additional access to their services,” Vergeire said.

Vergeire also said the board gave scientific recommendations to the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation on how claims and benefits are calculated using the expertise of health maintenance organizations (HMOs).

They also discussed the private sector’s continued partnership with the government’s Covid-19 vaccination program and promotion in public health programs such as tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS prevention.

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