Militants continue protests vs hospital conversion-A A +A
By JM Agreda
Sunday, October 28, 2012
MILITANT groups remained steadfast in opposing the corporatization of the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC).
As part of a nationally coordinated action against the privatization of medical hospitals all over the country, multi-sector groups led by Anakbayan, Innabuyog Gabriela, Ornus-Kadamay, Chestcore and Katribu Indigenous Peoples (IP) Party-list assailed government’s plan to privatize government hospitals in a sit-down protest last October 25 in front of BGHMC.
Samuel Anongos, Katribu Indigenous Peoples’ Party-list spokesperson, said the State continues to neglect the marginalized, especially indigenous peoples, further undermining their rights to free health services.
“The Baguio General Hospital serves not only the peoples of the Cordilleras but also those of nearby provinces like Pangasinan just to seek medical attention. Katribu demands the increase health budget,” Anongos said.
The IP party-list said it will continue its protests until government officials realize their opposition to what they call as the privatization of health care in the country.
The group said the corporatization of BGHMC, together with other 25 hospitals that is up for conversion into government owned and controlled corporation in the proposed House Bill 6069 by Representative Anthony Golez and Senate Bill 3130 by Senator Franklin Drilon, will result in hiked fees for services availed in government hospitals.
The groups added the privatization of various national hospitals has made health services inaccessible to the many of the poor.
Among the 26 hospitals that will be affected with plans of corporatization are: Cagayan Valley Medical Center, Veterans Regional Hospital, Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center, Ilocos Training and Regional Medical Center, Region I Medical Center, Dr. Paulino J. Garcia Memorial Research and Medical Center, Jose B. Lingad Memorial Medical Center, Batangas Regional Hospital, Bicol Medical Center (Naga City), Bicol Research Training and Teaching Hospital (Legaspi City), Quirino Memorial Medical Center, Jose R. Reyes Memorial Medical Center, Rizal Medical Center, Amang Rodriguez Medical Center, San Lazaro Hospital, Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center, Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center, Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital, Western Visayas Medical Center, Northern Mindanao Medical Center, Southern Philippines Medical Center, Zamboanga City Medical Center, Cotabato Regional and Medical Center, Caraga Regional Hospital, Davao Regional Hospital, and Mayor Hilarion A. Ramiro Sr. Regional Training and Teaching Hospital.
Community Health Education, Services and Training in the Cordillera Region stressed the corporatization of public hospitals will deprive people of much-needed health services and worsen the already ill state of health of the country.
“It is a privatization scheme that will allow entry into and control of health services by the private sector for super profits. Corporatization is part of the Aquino Health Agenda, the P-Noy government’s centerpiece Public-Private Partnership program on health services and facilities,” Chestcore said.
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on October 29, 2012.