LEYTE first district Representative Yedda Marie Romualdez met with Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III on May 16 to discuss her priority healthcare initiatives in both public and private hospitals under her district and in Eastern Visayas.
Romualdez was instrumental in the pilot implementation of the SDN, a public-private partnership “where health providers and its facilities within the province or a city-wide health system will offer core packages of health care services created in an integrated and coordinated manner.”
The DOH and the City Government of Tacloban signed an SDN memorandum of agreement on March 17, 2017, benefiting over 3,000 patients at present.
During their meeting, Romualdez also asked Duque’s support for the immediate passage of House Bill (HB) 7401, which seeks to increase the bed capacity of the Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center (EVRMC) from 500 to 1,500.
The enactment of this law will reduce the hospital bed to population ratio in the region from about 1:1,500 to approximately 1:1,000.
“The increase in bed capacity is aimed at bridging the current gap between hospital beds in the region, to improve the quality of healthcare and ensure the successful realization of the Philippine Health Agenda,” EVRMC said in its explanatory note.
The HB 7401, authored by Romualdez, will also pave the way for the upgrading of its services, facilities, and professional health care; increasing the number of medical personnel; and the changing of its name to Eastern Visayas Medical Center “to reflect the coming changes.”
“We are happy that House Bill 7401 has now been introduced in the House of Representatives, thanks to the efforts of Representative Yedda Marie K. Romualdez. It may still be a long way ahead but this is definitely a step in the right direction,” said Jude Acidre of Eastern Visayas’ sectoral party Tingog Sinirangan in an interview.
“By strengthening the capability and expanding the capacity of EVRMC, we are able to provide a more durable solution towards the improvement the healthcare service in the region. The end goal remains, however, for Tingog Sinirangan to push for free universal healthcare, so that ordinary Filipinos can rightly avail of free quality healthcare services without having to worry about the financial costs that come with it,” added Acidre, who was present in the meeting.
Also joining Romualdez and Duque during the meeting were DOH Assistant Regional Director Paula Paz Sydiongco, Remedios Trinidad Romualdez Hospital Administrator Atty. Cheryl Lopez-Chu, Tacloban City Hospital Chief Jodina Gumagay, and SDN program coordinator Nicolas Herman. (SunStar Philippines)