COTABATO CITY ― Four measures to upgrade and construct hospitals in Basilan were introduced by Bangsamoro lawmakers in an effort to increase healthcare facilities and provide more accessible medical infrastructure.
“Delivering health services that are easily accessible at an affordable cost in times of health emergencies and for underprivileged Bangsamoro constituents is vital to establishing a lasting peace, ensuring progress, and maintaining the progress and gains of the people and the government,” said MP Amilbahar Mawallil.
Under Parliament Bill No. 105, a level 1 general hospital with 25 beds is being pushed for at Maluso, Basilan, which will be directly administratively and technically supervised by the Basilan Integrated Health Office (IPHO).
With only one rural health unit and 15 barangay health stations, residents of Maluso have to travel to its nearby municipality in Sumisip to avail themselves of essential hospital services.
Another proposed measure is also seeking to build a general hospital in Hadji Muhammad Ajul.
Under PB No. 107, a level 1 general hospital with 25 beds will be constructed in Hadji Muhammad Ajul.
The Hadji Muhammad Ajul Rural Health Unit in Barangay Buton, according to one of the principal authors, MP Mawallil, is the only facility in said area that provides essential health care services, and patients still had to transport to its nearby municipalities during emergencies and other urgent health service needs.
PB No. 108 would also construct a level 1 general hospital with 25 beds in Hadji Muhtamad.
Currently, Hadji Muhtamad has only one rural health unit serving the health care needs of 26,867 residents.
If enacted into law, the said hospital will be under the direct administrative and technical supervision of the Basilan IPHO.
Lastly, PB No. 106 proposes to convert the Lamitan District Hospital into a level II hospital, under the direct supervision and control of the Ministry of Health.
The proposed measure aims to upgrade the apex or end-referral hospital to protect and promote the right to health of the citizens of Lamitan City and its adjacent areas.
Once approved, the provincial hospital’s bed capacity will increase from 25 to 100 beds.
Its existing service facilities and other services of the hospital are upgraded to conform with the bed capacity increase. The existing medical personnel will also be correspondingly increased.
Mawallil pointed out that people’s inability to afford transportation to access hospital-based medical services denies them access to health care services that should be theirs by right.
“Imagine the time it takes for these residents to travel to the hospital and their plight if they endure long hours to avail of essential health services,” Mawallil said.
The proposed measures were principally authored by MPs Mawallil, Engr. Baintan Ampatuan, Atty. Suharto Ambolodto, Atty. Rasol Mitmug Jr., Engr. Don Mustapha Loong, Rasul Ismael, Hatimil Hassan, Muslimin Jakilan, and Atty. Laisa Alamia. (LTAIS-Public Information, Publication, and Media Relations Division)