Lawmaker proposes to return Isabela hospital to DOH

NEGROS Occidental 5th district Representative Ma. Lourdes “Marilou” T. Arroyo has proposed to place the Ignacio Lacson Arroyo Sr. Medical District Hospital (ILASMDH) under the direct control, management and supervision of the Department of Health (DOH).

She filed House Bill No. 6963 to “re-nationalize” the 25-bed infirmary health facility, which is located in Isabela, Negros Occidental.

“Reverting back the Ignacio Lacson Arroyo Sr. Hospital from the local government unit to the national government will pave the way for the development of the hospital in order to continuously provide effective and efficient health care services,” Arroyo said in her bill’s explanatory note.

She noted that in 1993, the hospital was devolved to the Provincial Government of Negros Occidental upon the enactment of the Local Government Code aimed at decentralizing essential public services such as health and social services.

“Since the decentralization of the health services, ILASMDH has become dependent on the share of the local government units from the 40 percent internal revenue allotment from the national government. It is also worthy to note that the internal revenue allocation of the LGUs is still apportioned to different priority programs of the LGUs,” she said.

She laments that currently, the hospital has only three doctors and each doctor is being required to go on 24-hour duty nine times a month.

“Unfortunately, it has been downgraded from Level 1 to infirmary level and continues to exceed its standard bed capacity due to the volume of patients,” she said.

Arroyo noted that in 2016, ILASMDH served 3,262 indigent patients; 1,183 of them were treated from January to June 2019.

“At present, the hospital’s authorized bed capacity and actual hospital bed occupancy rate (are) mismatched,” Arroyo said.

HB 6963 seeks to increase ILASMDH’s operating fund, upgrade its medical equipment and facilities, and construct its needed infrastructure.

The bill seeks to “adopt an integrated and comprehensive quality health service that will cater to patients in the five municipalities and one city in the fifth district of Negros Occidental, as well as its neighboring municipalities,” Arroyo said.


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