By Charissa Luci-Atienza
Bacolod Rep. Greg Gasataya has sought the creation of the Bacolod-Negros Heart and Kidney Center to make quality medical care and services more accessible to Negros Occidental and neighboring provinces.
He said while there has been a significant improvement in the quality of medical services that the government provides, issues in terms of accessibility due to financial and geographical constraints still remain.
“Patients suffering from cardiovascular and kidney diseases from all over the country are often faced with no other choice but to go to the Philippine Heart Center and the National Kidney and Transplant Institute in Metro Manila just to avail of specialized medical assistance from the government due to lack of local facilities that can accommodate their medical needs, ” he said.
Gasataya filed House Bill 7454 seeking the establishment of a center for heart and kidney diseases in the city of Bacolod, Negros Occidental.
“The deficiency on tertiary government medical facilities places an additional burden on patients especially the poor through added expenses such as travel fare, lodging, and miscellaneous expenditures, ” he said.
“In the case of Negros Occidental, only two government-owned dialysis centers and a lone tertiary government hospital cater to thousands of patients with cardiovascular and kidney diseases in the province that patients in need of delicate procedures are left obligated to travel to Metro Manila, ” he laments.
House Bill 7454 provides that the Bacolod-Negros Heart and Kidney Center or the Institute shall be administered by a seven-man Board of Trustees, to be appointed by the President of the Philippines and shall serve for three years.
Under the bill, the government shall provide P1 billion for the initial operation and maintenance of the Center. The necessary amount to support the continued operation and maintenance of the Center shall be appropriated and released, subject to the approval of the President.
The books and accounts of the Center shall be subject to periodic auditing by the Commission on Audit (COA).