A member of the Palawan Provincial Board (PB) wants a study to be conducted on the possibility of putting the Northern and Southern Palawan Provincial Hospitals under public-private partnerships (PPP) to upgrade their services.
Board Member Roseller Pineda said Tuesday this is because 90 percent of the patients from Palawan towns still go to Puerto Princesa City for their medical needs.
He said his proposal may be a solution to uplift the standards of medical services in the two major hospitals.
“I filed a proposal na mapag-aralan na ang pagsasapribado ng dalawang ospital. Ang pinakamalaki kasi na concern ay kung paano ka makapagbigay ng medical assistance. May hawak sila na mga referral para doon na dumiretso sa Puerto Princesa [City] at doon na magpapagamot. I think it is the time for us to innovate at mapag-aralan ang pagkakaroon ng co-management,” he said.
(I filed a proposal to study the privatization of the two hospitals. The biggest concern here is how they can provide better medical services. Right now, patients have referrals to go to Puerto Princesa City and have them cared for there. I think it is time for us to innovate and study the possibility of co-management.)
Pineda said all local government units (LGUs) have a duty to provide the best medical care for their citizens but the services and the capabilities of the two hospitals cannot answer their needs despite annual funding appropriations from the provincial government.
He said the provincial government can choose what form of PPP it will enter into.
Pineda said the PPP can be a service contract, management contract, lease, concession, and build, operate and transfer (BOT).
“Kung ‘yong karamihan ng mga pasyente doon ay dito dinadala sa Puerto ay ano pa ang purpose ng ospital doon? Although alam ko na gumagawa tayo ng paraan [para maging maayos ang serbisyo] pero talagang kulang. Ayon ang nakakalungkot dahil marami tayong ospitals ngayon pero mayroon pa rin ‘yang natatanggap na ayuda from national government, and yet hindi pa kumpleto. Hindi pa nagpe-perform ng minor or major surgery,” Pineda pointed out.
(If most of the patients are still brought to Puerto, then what is the purpose of the hospitals? Although I know that they’re doing their best to get their services better, they’re still not enough. That’s the saddest thing because we have hospitals now, and they’re receiving support from the national government, and yet, their services are not complete. They’re not yet performing minor and major surgeries.)
But board member Eduardo Modesto Rodriguez, the chair of the PB’s health committee, disagreed with Pineda, saying the government can solve the problem.
Privatization is not the solution to have better medical services, instead, this will add to the hardship of the Palaweños, he said.
“Para sa akin hindi ito ang solusyon. Naniniwala pa rin ako sa kakayanan ng ating gobyerno ’yong maglalagay ka ng doctor na nagtatrabaho ng may puso. Mas kinakabahan pa nga ako kung ipapasok natin ang co-management with the private sector because the government is the only sector that would provide the best health facility to the people. Sana walang ng pumasok na private sector, kung mayroon man at least sana doon nalang sa mga financial support,” Rodriguez said.
(I don’t think that is a solution. I still believe that the government has the capability to assign doctors with the passion of serve. I will become even fearful if there’s co-management with the private sector because the government is the only sector that would provide the best health facility to the people. I hope no private sector will come in, if there is, at least it should be in providing financial support.)
The proposal has been referred to Rodriguez’ health committee for study.