House okays increased bed capacity for LPGHSTC

THE House of Representatives has approved on third and final reading a proposed law seeking to increase the bed capacity of the Las Piñas General Hospital and Satellite Trauma Center (LPGHSTC), which is an important health initiative in the fight against the coronavirus disease-19 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Las Piñas Rep. Camille Villar filed House Bill (HB) 3314 in a bid to increase by more than half the bed capacity of the LPGHSTC to 500 beds from the current 200.

"In this time of a health crisis, we need to fully equip our public hospitals with adequate resources and manpower and increase their bed capacity to accommodate more patients," said Villar.

The Las Piñas representative pointed out that she was committed to making the LPGHSTC as equipped as possible to help her constituents "because the health of our people is one of my top priorities."

If signed into law, the existing service facilities and professional health care services will also be upgraded commensurate to the increased bed capacity. Workforce which includes doctors, nurses and other health practitioners and support staff shall be correspondingly increased.

Villar noted that even before the coronavirus pandemic, the hospital has been experiencing an "overflow" of patients for the last five years despite its limited bed capacity.

"The increase in the bed capacity will aid in addressing the mandate that all Filipino patients accommodated in government hospitals will be provided with the necessary hospital services, which is within the spirit of the enactment of the Universal Health Car Act," said Villar in filing the bill.

The LPGHSTC was established in 1977 as the Las Piñas Emergency Hospital as an out-patient clinic and was the lone state-run hospital in the south of Metro Manila. In 1984, it was renamed as the Las Piñas District Hospital.

When Sen. Cynthia Villar was serving as Las Piñas congresswoman, the the hospital was converted into a medical center with an increased bed capacity from 50 to 200 by virtue of a law that was passed in 2004.

Las Piñas City has a total population of 588,900 based on the 2015 census and is expected to have reached 627,602 this year.

The Villar Group of Companies, meanwhile, has been been at the forefront of private sector assistance in the battle against COVID-19 with the conversion of PICC, Ultra and Philippine Arena into quarantine facilities. The diversifying conglomerate has also donated personal protective equipment, face masks and hospital beds for various hospitals in the country.