Parañaque City Mayor Edwin L. Olivarez today said the local government intends to catch up with neighboring cities by issuing its own health cards to give residents access to affordable and comprehensive medical care as part of a universal health care program that will be anchored on a well-equipped and modern public tertiary hospital.
The mayor made the announcement during the recent groundbreaking ceremonies for the expansion of the Parañaque Community Hospital that will provide an additional 120-bed capacity to the facility. The mayor also vowed to address PCH’s perennial lack of medicines, supplies and modern equipment.
The local chief executive vowed to complete work on the hospital extension, which will add a six-storey wing to the present four-storey structure, by the first quarter of next year or a construction timetable of only seven months – from September 2013 to March 2014.
“We are on a fast-track mode with our public health program because our people, particularly the poor, desperately needs a decent, affordable, and essentially free modern public hospital,” Mayor Olivarez said.
“We will also work to provide the PCH with modern facilities, including an ICU unit, as well as assure the availability of medicines and medical supplies through an arrangement with a leading pharmaceutical firm which has agreed to provide medicines and supplies on a consignment basis,” he added.
Aside from the PCH upgrade, the mayor said the LGU will work to strengthen the health centers in the city’s 16 barangays to enable them to provide primary health care, including the provision of lying-in maternity wards, as part of efforts to decongest the PCH which is the only public hospital in Parañaque.
“Primary health care cases like coughs, diarrhea and others should be attended to in the barangay health centers. But to do this, we must also ensure that each of our 16 barangay health centers have complete facilities, not to mention medicines, to treat indigent patients so that they don’t need to go to the Parañaque Community Hospital,” he said.
Mayor Olivarez said that once the network of modern public medical facilities is in place, the city government will immediately start issuing medical health cards to constituents for a free or subsidized access to the city-run public health system.
The PCH is situated in Barangay La Huerta where the old municipal hall used to stand. The present hospital has only 38 rooms that are almost always full, and lacks basic supplies like syringes and cottons, not to mention diagnostic and laboratory facilities.