House bill okays increase of hospital’s bed capacity

BAGUIO CITY: The House of Representatives approved a bill in its third and final reading to increase the bed capacity of the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC) from 800 to 1,500 beds on November 23.

Baguio City Rep. Mark Go, lead author of the bill, said this was a very welcome development in the country’s ongoing fight against Covid-19.

The bill aims to better equip the city and its healthcare workers to care for patients from Baguio and the surrounding communities.

With the increase in bed capacity, Go said, the people of Baguio City, the Cordillera Administrative Region and northern Luzon will no longer have to travel long distances and bear additional costs in order to be able to afford quality healthcare.

The currently limited bed capacity results in a waiting list of 50 to 100 patients per day.

This, Go said, hinders the BGHMC’s ability and efficiency to provide quality public health services to its patients, 80 percent of whom are destitute.

He said the hospital plays a vital role as the regional apex hospital and leading end-of-reference center for the Cordilleras and Northern Luzon, providing state-of-the-art specialty services aimed primarily at these regions.

The hospital, which trains over 200 residents in over 16 specialist areas, will fully implement 15 additional specialist programs over the next four years.

These include cardiovascular care, kidney care and transplantation, lung care, brain and spine care, orthopedic centers, cancer care, infectious diseases, and tropical medicine and mental health.

Baguio lawmakers said this underscores the need to prioritize the capacity building of the BGHMC as the leading health facility in northern Luzon that will be at the forefront of future public health crises.

Go was also the lead author of Republic Act 11084, which increased the hospital’s bed capacity from 500 to 800 to reach the hospital’s occupancy rate of 144.17 percent.

When his latest bill is signed, he hopes the BGHMC can continue to provide excellent health care to more patients with special needs.

House Bill 10451 is due to be submitted to the Senate.

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