Privatization of government hospitals a ‘misnomer’-A A +A
Sunday, July 22, 2012
MALACANANG on Sunday clarified reports of Aquino administration’s plans to privatize government hospitals.
“No, no. There has been a misnomer,” Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said in an interview on government-run Radyo ng Bayan.
“Government hospitals will not be privatized. They have just been set up as a juridical entity,” Lacierda added.
The Palace official made the statement after Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Maranon Jr. warned about leading a riot to oppose bills that will seek privatization of government-owned hospitals.
“It is not privatization. Like the PCSO (Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office), it is a juridical entity. It is not private and it is still owned by the government,” he said.
Lacierda said as far as the Department of Health is concerned, there are no plans to privatize government hospitals and they are only in the process to create juridical entities out of government hospitals.
Maranon described House Bill 6069, titled an Act Creating National Government Hospital Corporations, authored by Bacolod Representative Anthony Golez as “disadvantageous” to poor as it would deprive them of free hospital services.
The governor said more than 15,000 indigent beneficiaries of Negros Occidental Comprehensive Health Care Program had availed themselves of free hospital services and medicine.
Golez earlier explained that his bill seeks to give 26 national government hospitals corporation status that would give them fiscal autonomy.
He added that it would allow hospitals to engage in income-generating activities that will enable them to improve health care services.
Lacierda said the misnomer on privatization of government hospitals is the same as the issue that charity wards will be dissolved.
Philhealth and DOH officials earlier denied closing down charity wards in public hospitals saying that it will only be converted into Philhealth wards, where poor patients will be provided with free hospitalization, medicines and laboratory services.
Lacierda said both plans of the Health department would benefit Philhealth beneficiaries or the “poorest of the poor” enrolled by the Social Welfare department under its National Household Targeting System.
“PhilHealth wards will cover all beneficiaries, all enrollees,” he said. (Jill Beltran/Sunnex)