Farmers and other basic sectors belonging to Anakpawis Party-list Central Luzon strongly opposed the planned privatization of Jose B. Lingad Memorial Regional Hospital in the city of San Fernando, Pampanga province. The group said that JBL is among the 26 public hospitals in the country which is being targetted to be “corporatized,” through the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) program of the Aquino administration. Last year, the House Bill 6069 or “An Act Creating National Government Hospital Corporations,” was filed by Bacolod city Rep. Anthony Rolando T. Golez, Jr., chairman of the house committee on health.
“The Aquino government is attempting to confuse the people by claiming it is not privatization but simply corporatizing our public hospitals. But if we are to look onto the cases of Philippine Heart Center, Kidney Center, Lung Center and Children’s Medical Center, hospital officials said that they are forced to allocate more beds and space to rich patients than indigents as government subsidies are inadequate,” Joseph Canlas said, Anakpawis Party-list Central Luzon regional coordinator.
The group said that the government plans to privatize public hospitals such as the following: Cagayan Valley Medical Center, Veterans Regional Hospital, Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center, Ilocos Training and Regional Medical Center, Regional Medical Center, Dr. Paulino J. Garcia Memorial Research and Medical Center, Jose B. Lingad Memorial Medical Center, 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, Cotobato Regional and Medical Center, CARAGA Regional Hospital, Davao Regional Hospital, Mayor Hilarion A. Ramiro, Sr. Regional Center and Training Hospital.
“If you are to look at these hospitals, these are where we, poor people run into in times of emergencies as we do not have the budget for private hospitals. If these were privatized, it is the same as the government saying to us ‘let poor people die,’” Canlas said.
Anakpawis condemn the Aquino government for abandoning the poor people and serving only the rich and privileged, instead demanded for greater subsidies to public hospitals. The group called for the scrapping of the PPP program as it does not serve the people’s basic interest such as health services.
“The people of Central Luzon should strongly oppose this plan to privatize JBL, as it puts us all in grave risk. We call on all sectors to act against the plan and demand for improved health service,” Canlas said.
“We were not born yesterday to believe the excuses of the Aquino government of simply ‘corporatizing’ or improving the management of public hospitals. Every indigent patient has experience the inadequacies of public hospitals, not because of its medical personnels or doctors, but of lacking of facilities and services that are supposed to be supported by the government,” Canlas added. #