By Anna Leah Gonzales

SPECIALTY CENTERS. President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. says in a video message on Monday (Jan. 15, 2024) that the government intends to put up more specialty centers in the country. He said PHP11.12 billion will be used for this initiative. (PNA file photo)

MANILA – More than PHP11 billion will be used to establish more specialty centers nationwide this year, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. said on Monday.

In a video message posted on social media, the President said that as of December 2023, the government has already established a total of 131 specialty centers and PHP11.12 billion has been allocated to establish more centers for this year.

“Noong Aug. 24, 2023, pinirmahan ko ang Republic Act No. 11959 known as the Regional Specialty Centers Act. Ito’y mga ating specialty centers, specialty hospitals sa iba’t ibang lugar (On Aug. 24, 2023, I signed Republic Act No. 11959 known as the Regional Specialty Centers Act. These are our specialty centers, specialty hospitals in different areas),” Marcos said.

Under the law, the Department of Health (DOH) is designated to establish specialty centers in its hospitals in every region and in state-controlled specialty hospitals, prioritizing cancer care, cardiovascular care, lung care, renal care and kidney transplant, brain and spine care, trauma care and burn care.

The centers specialize in orthopedic care, physical rehabilitation medicine, infectious disease and tropical medicine, toxicology, mental health, geriatric care, neonatal care, dermatology, eye care, and ear, nose and throat care.

For the Doctors to the Barangays program, the President said 91 percent of municipalities already have medical doctors assigned to look after the health of residents.

“Ang programang ito ay in-expand to 204 out of 218 municipalities naman. Ang katumbas niyan ay 91 percent na ng municipalities ay masasabi nating may nag-aalaga na doctor (This program has been expanded to 204 out of 218 municipalities. This is equivalent to 91 percent of the municipalities that already have doctors),” Marcos said.

“Kaya’t napaka importante nito, patuloy pa itong programang ito para naman masabi natin na talaga nating binabantayan ang kalusugan ng ating mga mamamayan (This is very important, this program will continue so that we can say that we are really looking after the health of our citizens),” he added. (PNA)