Politics ‘common’ in gov’t hospitals

HOSPITALS managed by city and municipal governments are often affected by infighting among local officials, a health official said yesterday.

Dr. Jaime Bernadas, Department of Health 7 director, said health services in government hospitals are often hampered by political instability.

“It is common,” Bernadas told reporters.

Bernadas said this after 120 job-order workers of Toledo City Hospital were told to stop working last week after the City failed to pay their salaries following the City Council’s failure to approve its annual budget.

The Toledo City Council eventually relented and passed the city’s proposed annual budget of P1.2 billion last Monday.

Bernadas said that while such a problem is common in devolved hospitals, he believes devolution of basic services should still be given a chance.

Current programs being introduced by the National Government, such as those being offered by the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (Philhealth), allow LGU-managed hospitals to earn revenues even if they accept low-income patients. In the case of Toledo City, Bernadas said they will continue to assist their city hospital if they will request it.

In Toledo City, the 120 workers working for the hospitals have yet to return to work.

Dr. Bonito Zanoria, City Hospital head, said they are processing the payroll of the workers who have not received their salaries since January. (JKV)