By Billy Begas
A lawmaker on Sunday pushed for public-private partnerships to improve and make the country’s healthcare services world-class.
House Minority Leader and 4Ps party-list Rep. Marcelino Libanan noted that the Philippines has “all the assets needed, including highly trained physicians, nurses, medical technologists, and pharmacists, to advance as an international medical center for foreign patients looking for world-class healthcare.”
“In fact, Filipino healthcare professionals are also admired around the world as the most caring. We have to capitalize on this,” Libanan said.
Due to limited funds, Libanan said the government can enter public-private partnerships to put up the needed infrastructures and bring in modern equipment needed in the field of medicine.
“We must also develop complementary medical research and education capacities through international collaborations,” he added. “If necessary, Congress should provide tax incentives to lure new international medical schools and research facilities to operate here.”
Libanan, who holds a degree in medical technology aside from being a lawyer, also pressed for a multi-year program to simultaneously modernize the UP-Philippine General Hospital, Philippine Heart Center, National Kidney and Transplant Institute, and the Lung Center of the Philippines, among others.
“The DOH should further develop our specialty hospitals as global centers of excellence in healthcare,” Libanan said.
He said the Philippines should “aspire to be like Singapore, which receives more than 160,000 foreign patients who undergo over 70 kinds of medical treatments or procedures every year.”
“In fact, a growing number of wealthy Filipinos are already flying to Singapore just to seek medical treatment,” Libanan pointed out.
He stressed that improving healthcare services will also be beneficial to every Filipino.
Libanan also urged President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to appoint a Health secretary who will lead the country in the race for world-class healthcare.