The House of Representatives on Monday approved on second reading a measure authorizing the Department of Health (DOH) to set and approve the bed capacity and service capability of all DOH-retained hospitals.
The chamber approved via voice vote House Bill 5673, which seeks to address the congestion of patients in public hospitals by allowing the DOH to increase or right-size the bed capacity of its retained hospitals as necessary.
Currently, a DOH hospital can only increase its bed capacity through legislation.
Quezon Rep. Angelina Tan, chairperson of the House committee on health, said allowing the DOH to administratively set and approve the authorized bed capacity of its hospitals removes a barrier that “impedes the efficient delivery of health service.”
“This Act shall streamline the process for approving changes in the authorized bed capacities and corresponding service capabilities of all Department of Health-retained hospitals,” Tan said.
Under the bill, the DOH shall be mandated to develop the Philippine Health Facility Development Plan to guide the modernization and development plans of all government health facilities and to access capital outlays investment in accordance with its Health Facilities Enhancement Program and other national government capital outlays investment mechanisms.
The DOH Secretary shall include in the department’s programs the funding requirements for the adjustment in bed capacity and service capability of each DOH-retained hospital. (PNA)