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Bacolod City, Philippines Thursday, July 5, 2012
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Casiño hits hospital bill

Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casiño yesterday called on the Negros Occidental representatives and other colleagues in Congress to withdraw their support for bills that aim to corporatize public hospitals in the country.

Casiño said corporatization is a grand disguised privatization scheme that further let go of the responsibility of the government to provide health care to the people.

“I appeal to the people of Negros to help make our legislators realize that House Bill 6069 or an Act Creating National Government Hospital Corporations, and its counterpart Senate Bill 3130 or the National Government Hospital Corporate Restructuring Act, have dire, if not life-threatening implications, for poor constituents”, Casiño said.

The hospital corporatization and the public private partnership scheme will result to higher hospital fees and will make healthcare services inaccessible for poor families in Negros and the whole country, Casiño also said.

HB 6069 is authored by Rep. Anthony Golez (Bacolod Lone District), while Senator Franklin Drilon proposed SB 3130.

Corporatizing the 26 government hospitals, as mentioned in HB 6069, will only worsen the situation of all government hospitals that do not have ample budget allocations from the government, Casiño said.

He added that corporatized hospitals charge from P415 to P430 for chest x-ray examination, and from P1,650 to P1,800 for the ultrasound procedure, while government hospitals only charge from P290 to P310 for chest x-ray and P750 as ultrasound fee.

Negros Occidental has 80 hospitals, 18 of which are government-owned serving 2.4 million people. The Corazon Locsin Montelibano Memorial Regional Hospital was only given P262.32 million in the 2012 general appropriations, he added.

“It is the government’s responsibility to provide its people with quality health care, especially the poor. It is not the role of the government to give its health assets to private schemes. This is why we should nix the corporatization of government hospitals,” Casiño said.


Meanwhile, Casiño said the government is not serious in its negotiations with the rebels’ group, adding these were mere “token talks.”

Unless the government is really sincere in its negotiations up to the point that leaders will be willing to change the political and economic system of the country, only then will real settlement be achieved, he said.

He also said the government and the National Democratic Front have agreed on the respect for human rights and the international humanitarian law but they will have to go through three other accords before a total ceasefire can be attained.

Both parties have yet to negotiate on the social and economic reforms, political and constitutional reforms, and the ceasefire and disposition of forces, he added.*LTG

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