PBBM’s son pushes Satellite specialty hospitals in Ilocos Norte

MEDICAL ASSISTANCE. People line up to seek medical assistance at the Office of Ilocos Norte Representative Alexander “Sandro” Marcos in Laoag City on Friday (Aug. 19, 2022). The neophyte lawmaker is pushing for the establishment of specialty hospitals in Northern Luzon that would be more accessible to his constituents. (Photo by Leilanie Adriano)

LAOAG CITY – Ilocos Norte First District Representative Ferdinand Alexander “Sandro” Marcos, son of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., is pushing for the establishment of specialty hospitals in Northern Luzon so that patients no longer have to travel all the way to Metro Manila to avail of special medical services.

“In line with the President’s SONA, I have filed a bill that will  hopefully set up specialty hospitals like the Philippine Heart Center, National Kidney and Transplant Institute, Lung Center of the Philippines, Philippine Children’s Medical Center, Philippine Orthopedic Center, and Philippine Cancer Center in Northern Luzon,” the younger Marcos said on his official Facebook page.

House Bill 3752, which shall be known as the satellite specialty hospitals for Northern Luzon Act, aims to help patients from Northern Luzon who need specialized medical services from  multi-specialty hospitals that are concentrated in Metro Manila.

He said, if his bill is approved and becomes a law, the satellite specialty hospitals in Northern Luzon will be a big help for patients, particularly those who are underprivileged and need free medical coverage.

Earlier, the Department of Health (DOH) has already bared its plan to put up specialized centers for neonatal illnesses as well as heart, lung, kidney, and cancer diseases in at least seven public hospitals outside Metro Manila by 2025.

DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire who is presently Officer-in-charge of the agency said their Department has actually finalized and started last year its P15-billion Philippine Health Facility Development Program, designed to strengthen the healthcare system of various medical institutions in rural areas.

Among the DOH-run hospitals included in the program, Vergeire said, are the Baguio General Hospital in Baguio City;  the Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and Medical Center in Batac City (Ilocos Norte); the Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital in Legazpi City (Albay); Batangas Medical Center in Batangas City; the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center in Cebu City; the Northern Mindanao Medical Center in Cagayan de Oro City; and the Southern Philippines Medical Center in Davao City.

Among the specialized medical centers currently in operation are the Philippine Heart Center, Lung Center of the Philippines, the National Kidney and Transplant Institute, and the Philippine Children’s Medical Center, all of which are in Quezon City. (PNA)