May 24, 2024

To admit more patients amid current Covid-19 protocols, the House of Representatives Committee on Health approved a bill that seeks to increase the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center’s bed capacity from 800 to 1,500 beds.

Baguio City Rep. Mark Go authored House Bill 8782, which seeks to add 700 more beds to BGHMC after the hospital was forced to reduce patient admission due to Department of Health protocols on the Covid-19 pandemic.

Go said from March to December 2020, the hospital’s average occupancy rate was only at 45.33 percent and records a waiting list of 50 to 100 patients every day due to the limited bed capacity.

He said this hinders BGHMC’s ability and efficiency to provide quality public health services to its patients, of whom 80 percent are indigent.

Go is also the primary author of Republic Act 11084, which increased BGHMC’s bed capacity from 500 to 800 to address the hospital’s occupancy rate of 144.17 percent.

He said the hospital’s additional 300 beds at the time only accommodated the prevailing situation and was not equipped to handle any large-scale public health crisis such as the Covid-19 pandemic.

The representative cited BGHMC’s crucial role as a regional apex hospital and premier end-referral center for the Cordillera and northern Luzon, offering leading-edge specialty services for these regions, highlighting the need to invest in the hospital’s capacity-building to ensure preparedness and top-notch responsiveness for future public health crises.

“Filipinos from regions 1, 2, and the Cordillera would no longer have to travel all the way to Metro Manila to avail of quality specialty services, which would entail additional costs and inconvenience to the ordinary people,” Go said.

BGHMC is set to fully implement 15 different specialty programs over the next four years, including cardiovascular care, renal care and transplant, lung care, brain and spine care, orthopedic center, cancer care, infectious disease and tropical medicine, and mental health, among others. The hospital also trains 211 residents over 16 specialized fields.

Go hopes with the passage of the bill, BGHMC will be able to cater to more patients with specialized needs without compromising the quality of its services. – Press release