Press Release
May 25, 2015

Senate approves bills to increase hospital bed capacities

The Senate today approved on third and final reading two bills seeking to increase the bed capacity of two government hospitals in Cagayan de Oro City and Davao del Norte and one bill renaming a hospital in Sorsogon, Bicol.

Senator Teofisto "TG" Guingona III, chairman of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography and sponsor of Senate Bill No. 2481, said the proposed measure sought to increase the bed capacity of the Northern Mindanao Medical Center and improve its facilities to better serve the people in the area.

Senate President Franklin Drilon said the measure was meant to support and enhance the development of Mindanao's health sector, especially in terms of boosting the government's ability to deliver various medical services to a greater number of its constituents.

"For more than 90 years, the Northern Mindanao Medical Center (NMMC), with its well trained personnel, has served an extensive number of patients, not only from Cagayan de Oro City but also from the region," Guingona said.

"It has protected the right to health of the people through its projects and facilities and promoted a healthy environment in the region," he added.

He said NMMC has a bed capacity of 300 but serves more than 600 patients daily. He said increasing the hospital's bed capacity would enable NMMC to provide quality services to the public. Guingona said Senate Bill 2655 sought to convert the Davao Regional Hospital (DRH) to the Davao Regional Medical Center as well as increase its bed capacity.

A tertiary training hospital in Tagum City, Guingona said, DRH served "at least 17,000 major and minor surgical cases with a daily traffic of 600 patients from Davao Region as well as Regions IX, X, VII and Caraga or thrice its capacity."

"The DRH's conversion into a medical training center would also provide affordable medical internship to local medical students and improve the quality of basic health services to the growing populace in the region," he said.

The said measures are in line with the Aquino administration's Universal Health Care agenda which among others, aims to ensure that health facilities reach a standard of adequacy for resident constituents.

Guingona, who also sponsored the passage of House Bill 1248, said the bill sought to change the name of the Gubat District Hospital in the municipality of Gubat, Sorsogon, to Salvador Encinas District Hospital.

A former congressman of the Second District of Sorsogon from the Third Congress to the Seventh Congress, Encinas helped develop the economy and infrastructure of the towns of Prieto Dias, Gubat, Barcelona, Bulusan, Irosin, Sta. Magdalena, Matnog and Bulan during his 19 years as a public servant, according to Guingona.

He said Encinas, a war veteran who survived the infamous Death March, also sent indigent students to school and financially assisted impoverished families in his district.

"Given Congressman Encina's pivotal role in the growth and advancement of his district, primarily his hometown of Gubat, it is but fitting to memorialize his name in the hospital which he assisted to establish," Guingona said. (Olive Caunan)

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