By JULMUNIR I. JANNARAL
COTABATO CITY: Bangsamoro Member of Parliament Dr. Saffrulah Dipatuan urged his colleagues in the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) Parliament to prioritize bills on hospital upgrade and establishment in the region, as well as the procurement of additional oxygen tanks.
“I am asking my colleagues to please help me and join me in passing these proposed bills that will convert hospitals from Level I bed capacity to Level II bed capacity,” Dipatuan said in his privilege speech.
Dipatuan, a former BARMM Health Minister, filed four hospital bills last week of which two aimed to construct new hospitals, while the other two aimed to increase medical bed capacity.
Parliament Bill Nos. 96 and 98 seek to establish general hospitals with 50-bed capacity in Masiu, Lanao del Sur (LDS), and Pikit, North Cotabato.
Parliament Bills Nos. 75 and 99 call for the Dr. Serapio B. Montaner Al-haj Memorial Hospital in LDS to be upgraded from Level I to Level II, with 100 beds, and the conversion of Tamparan District Hospital to Lanao del Sur Provincial Hospital, with a bed capacity of 150.
Dipatuan said the mentioned facilities have reached their occupancy limit, serving around 200,000 individuals across 17 municipalities and coastal areas in the BARMM.
Aside from charging free for treatment confinement, hospitals were also providing free home medications to patients.
“It is therefore important that these hospitals be upgraded so that they can cater to their clients. It is a policy of these hospitals that all patients are enjoying no balance fee,” Dipatuan told the august body.
Once passed, the bills will ensure the access and delivery of health services to the Bangsamoro people, particularly the indigents and marginalized sectors in the region.
It can be recalled in August 25, the Parliament approved the bill seeking to procure an additional P50-million worth of additional oxygen tanks. (JIJ)