COTABATO CITY ― Aiming to bridge the gap in medical services and provide access to essential, high-quality, and affordable healthcare, three general hospitals are being pushed to be built in Maguindanao del Norte.
Parliament Bill Nos. 233, 234, and 235 are the concerted efforts of Members of Parliament Atty. Suharto Ambolodto, Suwaib Oranon, Engr. Baintan Ampatuan, Atty. Ishak Mastura, Abdulwahab Pak, and Dr. Hashemi Dilangalen to strengthen healthcare development in underserved communities.
The 2020 census data from the Philippine Statistics Authority highlights the pressing need for improved medical infrastructure in the northern part of Maguindanao.
The province consists of six municipalities, the largest of which is Buldon with a population of 39,684 and the second largest, Sultan Mastura, with a population of 25,331.
The existing medical facilities, Cotabato Sanitarium in Sultan Kudarat and Iranun District Hospital in Parang, have bed capacities of 250 and 25, respectively, as explained by Atty. Ambolodto.
However, the combined bed capacity of these hospitals falls short of meeting the healthcare demands of the 345,227 residents residing in the six municipalities of Maguindanao del Norte.
To address these concerns, PB Nos. 233 and 234 propose the construction of 25-bed general hospitals in the municipalities of Buldon and Sultan Mastura.
PB No. 235 envisions the establishment of another 25-bed general hospital named Tumbao General Hospital in Barangay Gambar, Kabuntalan, Maguindanao del Norte.
The area, inhabited by over 17,000 Bangsamoro individuals, currently lacks a dedicated hospital, forcing residents to travel to distant cities like Cotabato City and North Cotabato for medical care.
Once enacted into law, these three general hospitals will operate under the administrative aegis of the Ministry of Health, seamlessly integrating the relevant provisions of Republic Act No. 11223, better known as the Universal Health Care (UHC) Act.
Atty. Ambolodto emphasized the significance of prioritizing access to basic, quality, and affordable healthcare for the Bangsamoro people, asserting that the BARMM Government must make this a top concern.
MPs Atty. Laisa Alamia, Amilbahar Mawallil, Atty. Rasol Mitmug Jr., Rasul Ismael, and Engr. Don Mustapha Loong are co-authors of PB Nos. 233, 234, and 235. (LTAIS-Public Information, Publication, and Media Relations Division)