BTA members want to upgrade Sulu Provincial Hospital

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COTABATO CITY – Some members of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) Parliament filed on March 24, a bill seeking to upgrade the provincial hospital in Sulu province.

BTA Bill No. 90 seeks to upgrade Level I Sulu Provincial Hospital into a Level II hospital, increasing its bed capacity to 200, upgrading its professional healthcare services and facilities, and authorizing the increase of its medical personnel.

The bill was authored by BTA Deputy Speakers Nabil Tan and Omar Yasser Sema, Deputy Majority Floor Leaders Khadafeh Mangudadatu and Paisalin Tago, Members of Parliament  Amilbahar  Mawallil and Jose Lorena, and Speaker Ali Pangalian Balindong.

Established in November 5, 1916, the 100-bed capacity Sulu Provincial Hospital is the main referral center that caters patients coming from all of Sulu’s 19 municipalities or equivalent to more than 900,000 people.

The hospital also does not have an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) which makes it difficult for hospital staff to attend to patients needing critical care.

Under the bill’s Section 3, the Bangsamoro Government shall provide the necessary funds to support the hospital’s increase in bed capacity and corresponding upgrading of its facilities and services.

According to the authors’ explanatory note, the hospital is severely under-staffed due to lack of significant number of plantilla positions.

Thus, Section 2 of the bill provides that the Ministry of Health, in coordination with the Ministry of Finance, Budget and Management and the Civil Service Commission, shall determine the additional positions to be created and filled up in coordination with the Sulu Provincial Hospital management.

Aforementioned BTA members also filed another bill which seeks to establish a 100-bed Level II General Hospital in Maimbung Municipality of Sulu.

This is to ensure that the residents of Maimbung and its neighboring communities are provided with immediate and more effective access to health care services since the municipality is far from Jolo, where the Sulu Provincial Hospital is located.

Once approved, the authors said the hospital will cater to patients coming from the island municipalities of Tapul, Para, Lugus, and Pandami which are more geographically accessible to Maimbung than to Jolo.

BARMM’s health ministry shall formulate necessary guidelines for the hospital’s operations and ensure the funding for its building and other infrastructures, facilities, medical equipment, as well its personnel services and other needed maintenance.

“It is the mandate of the Bangsamoro Government to establish, by law, a general hospital system to serve the health requirements of its people, and ensure that the individual basic right to life shall be attainable through the prompt intervention of excellent and affordable medical services,” said Deputy Speaker Tan during his sponsorship speech on BTA’s session last week.

“Let us bear in mind that we are building a nation […] building a nation starts with the protection of our valuable resource – which is the human resources. If we have weak citizens, unhealthy citizens, the dream of building a strong nation will remain a dream,” Tan emphasized.

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