PBBM vows wider medical care access

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PRESIDENT Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. vowed on Monday to make medical care more accessible in underserved communities through the capacity building for local government units (LGU) and the construction of new facilities such as the Clark Multi-Specialty Medical Center (CMSMC).

“That is why it is a fundamental part of the services that this government will bring to our people. It is not a privilege to have healthcare,” Marcos said during the site inspection for the CMSMC at the Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga.

“It is a right and that is how we will approach this problem and that is how we will continue to make our healthcare system better for all Filipinos in whatever capacity that we are able to do,” he added.

Citing the important role played by the healthcare sector during the pandemic, the President said he will prioritize making health services available at the local level through his administration’s Health Facility Enhancement Program (HFEP).

“This is part of a larger system of healthcare provision that we are putting together to service our kababayans [citizens] so that they don’t have to wait [or] get very very sick before they go to the big hospitals. We are bringing healthcare down to the people,” the chief executive said.

The comprehensive HFEP includes establishing the “Botika de Barangay” or barangay pharmacies program, rural and barangay centers, as well as medical special centers such as the CMSMC.

Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) Chairman and CEO Alejandro H. Tengco said the construction of the CMSMC will cost about P10 billion and is expected to be completed by 2028.

The medical complex, to be built on a 5.7-hectare property along Prince Balagtas Avenue in Clark Freeport Zone, will include a heart center, lung center, kidney center, and children’s hospital.

“We will establish primary healthcare facilities and specialty centers nationwide,” Marcos said.

“We will not stop until every Filipino can say they have good access to quality healthcare,” he added.

He noted the important role of the private sector and international funding agencies in assisting the government to upgrade or build more local healthcare services like in the case of CMSMC.

The project is being built with the cooperation of Pagcor, Clark Development Corporation (CDC), Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), and the Razon-led Bloomberry Cultural Foundation Inc.

Image credits: Pagcor