By Modesto P. Sa-onoy
Finally after decades of call for Bacolod to construct its own hospital the city have one. The Congress approved on May 31 eleven hospitals to be built in the country.
The bill creating the Bacolod City General Hospital was authored by Bacolod Congressman Greg Gasataya who crafted HB 6731 last year. It did not take long which shows the competence of the Bacolod Congressman in sailing along the labyrinth of the Congress where many times bills of importance gathered dust until the end of the Congress and into oblivion.
The counterpart bill in the Senate was authored by Senator Miguel Zubiri whose parentage came from Negros.
Commenting on the quick approval, Gasataya said, “The long wait is over. It’s a big blessing for the people of Bacolod. We are very happy about the approval of our bill. Nothing is impossible, we bring back all the glory to God.”
As usual with his humility and candidness, Gasataya thanked the members of the Senate led by its President Senator Vicente Sotto, Senate Majority Leader Senator Zubiri, Committee on health Chairman Senator Christopher Lawrence Go, and Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, as well as the House Committee on Health Chairperson Representative Angelina Tan, and the local government unit of Bacolod City for the support of this legislation.
He also expressed gratitude to Health Secretary Francisco Duque, and the Department of Health.
The Bacolod General Hospital will have an initial budget of P600 million which is already included in the 2022 General Appropriation Act.
He was quoted by the Bacolod press saying, “As someone who has first-hand experience of how difficult it is to have a sick family member and barely have means to pay for hospitalization, I understand our need to better public healthcare. This is why we made healthcare and medical assistance our priority in Congress.”
A former radioman who won his every election battle, Gasataya did not come from the jeweled or privileged society in Bacolod, a testimony to the city’s political maturity. His many projects are still unmatched by previous members of Congress representing Bacolod given the short time he became a congressman. He is now on his second term and is expected to win hands down next year.
There are no talks, idle or otherwise that he will have a challenger. Of course we can never say for certain nobody is thinking about challenging him.
He said that under the guidelines of the DOH, a tertiary general hospital as the Bacolod City General Hospital will facilities and services like family medicine, pediatrics, internal medicine, surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, emergency services, outpatient services, and ancillary and support services such as clinical laboratory, imaging facility, and pharmacy.
The General Hospital will also have facilities for physical medicine and rehabilitation unit, ambulatory surgical and dialysis clinics, tertiary clinic laboratory with histopathology, blood bank, and third-level X-ray. In a way it will be almost complete for the needs of the people of Bacolod and I believe it will also be open to those in need even they are not from Bacolod. It is like other hospitals in the world that discriminates against nobody.
The many infrastructures that Cong. Gasataya has worked for Bacolod, like better roads and intense effort to relieve the city from flooding compares nothing to this hospital because this means life and death and misery to many who could not afford hospitalization. As we all know the cost of hospitalization denies the needy of help in their most dire need.