THE House Committee on Health has approved House Bill No. 1239 seeking to establish a general hospital in Victorias City on Tuesday, November 29.

Third District District Rep. Jose Francisco "Kiko" Benitez, author of the bill, said the establishment of Victorias City General Hospital will provide Victoriahanons and nearby residents of the Third District wider access to affordable and quality healthcare, and most importantly help save lives in times of medical emergencies.

The bill seeks to establish a local government hospital in Victorias to enhance the capacity of the city government to address the healthcare needs of its growing population.

In the 2021 Cities and Municipalities Competitiveness Index, Victorias, a fourth class component city, has ranked I10th out of 113 component cities in infrastructure.

The nearest government hospital, the Teresita L. Jalandoni Provincial Hospital in Silay City, which serves all cities and municipalities in Negros Occidental including Bacolod City or a total of 3.2 million people, is 18.243 kilometers away.

Its 300-bed capacity may not be able to accommodate patients from Victorias city. This clearly indicates that the city needs all the help to improve its local health system, he said.

Considering the current state of local health infrastructure, the establishment of the Victonas City General Hospital is crucial in providing the people of Victorias wider access to affordable and quality healthcare - and saving lives from medical emergencies, Benitez further explained.

The hospital will be a tertiary general hospital.

Under the proposed bill, the City Government of Victorias shall provide funding for the establishment, operation and maintenance of the hospital and the amount of P500 million will be appropriated for the implementation of this Act which shall be included and funded under the 2023 General Appropriations Act under the Health Facilities Enhancement Program, the solon said in his bill.*