MARCH 29, 2014

NR # 3420B

Solons oppose the privatization of government hospitals
Lawmakers have filed a bill prohibiting the privatization of government hospitals to ensure that health care services are affordable and accessible to Filipino people. Reps. Rufus Rodriguez (2nd District, aga!an de "ro it!# and $a%imo Rodriguez, &r. ('art!list, (bante)$indanao#, said *ouse +ill ,--., to be known as /overnment *ospitals0 'rivatization 'rohibition (ct, prohibits the 1ecretar! of the Department of *ealth to privatize, sell or offer for sale all government hospitals. 2he lawmakers were reacting to reports that the 3ational "rthopedic *ospitals in 4uezon it! and other government hospitals were being offered for privatization under the 'ublic)'rivate 'artnership scheme of the government. 56hile it is true that the government is e%periencing difficult! in infusing the much needed funds to continuall! upgrade and ac7uire sophisticated and advanced medical e7uipment, it is a realit! that ma8orit! of the people rel! on these government hospitals for their medical and health needs,9 Rodriguez said. Rodriguez said the corresponding increase in medical cost would ensue once the privatization of government hospitals is pursued and the increase in cost of hospitalization will be an additional burden to the poor people. 51ome people cannot even afford ade7uate shelter, food, clothing and education. 6orst, accessible and affordable health care services being offered b! government hospitals will be be!ond their reach, Rodriguez said. 2he 5$odernization of the 'hilippine "rthopedic enter9 pro8ect is under the 'ublic)'rivate 'artnership scheme of the (7uino administration : the first government hospital to be privatized. 2he pro8ect costing ';.< +illion was awarded to $egawide onstruction orp. and 6orld iti onsortium. 'etitioners have alread! filed a petition before the 1upreme ourt opposing the privatization of the orthopedic hospital. 2he petitioners said the 1tate0s responsibilit! is to provide and ensure that the basic social service 5should not be relin7uished to a private entit! through privatization or commercialization of a government hospital to the pre8udice of the poor and underprivileged.9 2he 3ational "rthopedic *ospital 6orkers =nion described the hospital0s privatization as another 5man)made disaster that will wreak havoc on poor people0s health. 2he petitioners include doctors and nurses from the 3etwork "pposed to 'rivatization of 'ublic *ospitals and *ealth 1ervices (3"'#, ouncil for *ealth and Development ( *D#, Nars ng Bayan ommunit! *ealth 3urses0 (ssociation, (lliance of *ealth 6orkers ((*6#, *ealth (lliance for *uman Rights (*(*R#, 'eople0s *ealth $ovement, ommunit! $edicine 'ractitioners and (dvocates (ssociation ( "$'(11#> *ead (lliance for Democrac! (*?(D#, leaders of citizens0 groups Makabayan, /abriela, Kalipunan ng Damayan ng Mahihirap (@(D($(A#, Kilusang Mayo Uno (@$=#, and congressmen from Bayan Muna and Kabataan part!)list. (,B# mrs

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