House inquiry into hospitals’ performance starts today

THE House of Representatives will begin today its inquiry into the state funding and performance of hospitals and other health facilities in the country.

The committee on public accounts, chaired by Anakalusugan party-list Rep. Mike Defensor and the committee on health led by Quezon Rep. Angelina Tan are conducting the investigation in aid of legislation.

House Resolution (HR) No. 686 filed by Defensor, who is also a vice chairman of the health committee, prompted the inquiry.

Invited to this Monday morning’s hearing are officials of the Department of Health (DOH), government and private hospitals, and representatives of the Union of Local Authorities of the Philippines.

In his resolution, Defensor cited a World Health Organization (WHO) study on the “inefficiencies and inequities” of the country’s health care delivery system.

He quoted the study: “The fragmented nature of health financing, devolved structure of service delivery, and mixed public-private health system pose immense challengers to correcting the inefficiencies and monitoring the performance of the Philippine health sector.”

According to the study, as of 2016, there were 90,308 nurses, 40,775 doctors, 43,044 midwives, and 265 medical technologists in the health care sector, with hospitals more than 90 percent of doctors and nurses.

Defensor said there is a need to undertake a comprehensive assessment of the state, capacity and performance of health facilities to promote efficiency and effectiveness in the delivery of health services.
However, Defensor said many of these centers are now idle because they have no personnel, equipment and even basic medicines and supplies.