Saturday, 02 June 2012 11:09
A top official of the Zamboanga City Medical Center (ZCMC) is favoring the conversion of ZCMC into a Government-Owned and Controlled Corporations (GOCC) to better serve the public.
ZCMC Chief of Hospital Dr. Romeo Ong said during an interview that once the hospital is converted into GOCC, board of trustees will be formed and the hospital will also become corporation.
Although it is his personal opinion, Dr. Ong explained that there will be fiscal autonomy, where the hospital can do whatever it wanted with their income with just a board approval, if the hospital is converted.
“The most important thing is the fiscal autonomy of the hospital. You will be able to do whatever you want with your income hinde ya nesecita man clear. Man approve el board approve ya,” Ong added.
When the ZCMC will be converted into a GOCC, this means that they can purchase, hire, and adjust the salary since they will not be under the salary standardization act, according to Dr. Ong.
When asked about the assistance given by the Department of Health (DOH), Ong replied that, "it will just continue, similar to other GOCC Hospitals such as Philippine Heart Center, Lung Center, National Kidney Transplant Institute, and the Children’s Hospital."
He further said the ZCMC is receiving P35 Million for Maintenance, and Other Operating Expenses and P120 Million for Personal Services from the DOH as subsidy.
He assured that "in case this pushes through, the services especially for the poor will still be continued and the rates for the hospital services will still be at a minimal cost."
The ZCMC is operating on a 300 bed capacity, serving some 400 patients a day and it is being manned by only 444 doctors to include nurses.
There is a pending House Bill (HB), which seeks to convert the 27 government owned-hospitals, to include Zamboanga City Medical Center, into GOCC, in Congress.
The committee in the House of Representative already approved House Bill 6069. Under the corporate set-up, the government hospitals will be allowed to engage in income generating activities, the proceeds can be used to help subsidized medical care to indigent patients, and they also enjoy fiscal autonomy and operational flexibility which will lead to more efficient delivery of health services.
The senate also has its version, Senate Bill 3130 an act restructuring program for national government hospital. The House Bill and the Senate Bill are in the committee level.
The measure will convert the health care facilities operated directly by the Department of Health into government-owned and -controlled corporations (GOCCs) responsible for generating their own funding; the plan would see government subsidies for all but tertiary hospitals gradually eliminated by 2020.
By: R.G. Antonet Go
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