LA TRINIDAD, Benguet, Feb. 21 (PIA) - - Benguet Caretaker, ACT-CIS Rerpresentatove Eric Go Yap, allayed apprehension among Benguet General Hospital (BeGH) officials and employees on the proposed re-nationalization of the government hospital in this capital town.
Yap visited BeGH on February 20 and spoke before BeGH officials and employees telling them not to worry as he presented the advantages of the hospital run by the national government in terms of manpower, equipment and facilities and services.
On the concern that some positions might be removed if nationalized, Yap said in fact there will be more positions to be created which means more jobs. In the case of nurses, their salary will be upgraded.
He also bared that there are already commitments from various agencies like the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation to enhance the capabilities of the hospital such as funds for x-ray machine, MRI, endoscope and other facilities.
"Yung pagiging national po ng hospital natin huwag po tayong matakot. Kung sa tingin nyo po hindi makakatulong magiging negative sabihan nyo po ako at ibalik na natin sa local," (Don't be worried if the hospital will be nationalized. If you think that it will not be of help and it would have negative effect just inform me and we will return back its management to the provincial government.), he told hospital staff.
Yap filed in Congress House Bill 6171 which seeks to return the management of BeGH to the national government and increase its bed capacity from 200 to 400 beds. This supports the bill earlier filed by the late Benguet Congressman Nestor B. Fongwan Sr. who died last December.
Once the bill will be approved into law, the hospital's management now operating as an economic enterprise run by the provincial government as business- like entity will be under the Department of Health.
BeGH was devolved to the provincial government in 1993 as mandated in the Local Government Code. It is a level 3 general hospital authorized as a 200-bed capacity, but operates with 150-bed capacity. Even if it is run as an economic enterprise, it is still being subsidized by the provincial government with P35 million annually. The allocation has increased to P55 million this year.
Governor Melchor Diclas, a physician by profession, said with the re-nationalization of the hospital, it will be equipped with facilities the provincial government could not afford.
Aside from financial assistance and equipment replacement and enhancement, personnel training is also another aspect they are looking into if the hospital will be under the DOH, BeGH Officer-in-Charge Dr. Meliarazon Fianza-Dulay said.
A public hearing for the re-nationalization of the BeGH is scheduled on Wednesday, February 26, at the Provincial Capitol with DOH Undersecretary Roger Tong-an to present the pros and cons.
Meanwhile, Yap appealed to hospital employees to be more understanding to the situation of their patients. (JDP/SCA-PIA-CAR, Benguet)