Third District Rep. Alexie Tutor on Wednesday appealed for the support of the provincial government in her efforts to renationalize the Candijay Community Hospital (CCH) in Candijay through a bill she filed in Congress.
Tutor, a former member of the Provincial Board, sought the endorsement of the Provincial Health Board during a hearing set by the PB’s health committee to push forward the measure which was recently approved by the House of Representative’s Committee on Health.
Tutor’s House Bill 4723 seeks to convert the CCH into a district hospital and increase its bed capacity from 10 to 50 while transferring it from the administration of the province to the Department of Health (DOH).
The first-term congresswoman said that she can secure a P100-million allocation to upgrade the CCH amid the provincial government’s own efforts to improve the facility’s infrastructure and equipment through a P35-million loan.
“While we applaud what the provincial government can do, with the P35 million, it is not enough. Without being boastful, for the third district, I can request for P100 million…I can guarantee that,” Tutor said.
Tutor said that through her proposal the hospital can be improved without further financial burden for the province incurred by taking out a multi-million peso loan.
Meanwhile, Dr. Yul Lopez who heads the Capitol’s hospital services pointed out the possible redundancy of renationalizing the hospital through a bill in Congress considering that the province’s hospitals are covered by the Universal Healthcare Law which entails national government support for local health facilities.
“Bohol, among all the provinces in the country, is now an advance implementation site of the Universal Healthcare. So the question on whether fragmented ang delivery sa health services today will be addressed in this new law,” Lopez said.
Lopez noted that processes have already started in the financial, managerial, technical and regulatory integration with the national government that would help secure funds to support the province’s district hospitals.
Effectivity of the law for advance implementation sites such as Bohol will start by January, next year, he said.
“E-eliminate nato ang redundancy kay karon, buhaghag kaayo–ang Rural Health Unit laig lihok sa Provincial Health Office, lahi pud sa national so mag doble-doble,” he said.
According to Tutor, she saw no reason for the provincial government not to support her bill considering that other provinces have been moving to similarly renationalize their hospitals.
“If other provincial governments allow the DOH to do this, then why can’t we,” she said.
Tutor also explained that the other two districts in the province have their own DOH-run hospitals in the Governor Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital and the Don Emilio del Valle Hospital in the first and second districts, respectively, while the third district remained without one.
It would be up to the Provincial Health Board chaired by Governor Arthur Yap whether or not the province, with the approval of the PB, will be endorsing Tutor’s bill in Congress.
Hospital modernization has been the cornerstone of Yap’s initial agenda after he was elected chief executive last year.
He sought the loans of up to P460 million for the upgrade of the province’s 10 district hospitals.
Yap’s move was approved by the PB in the historic passage of an ordinance allowing the provincial government to take out loans of over P670 million, the largest borrowing of the province in recent history, for hospital modernization and the purchase of heavy equipment. (R. Tutas)