TWO lawmakers have filed a measure that would ensure the availability, accessibility and affordability of quality health to teachers who are considered as among the most reliable and dedicated public servants.
Reps. Rufus Rodriguez of Cagayan de Oro City) and Maximo Rodriguez Jr. of Abante Mindanao party-list authored House Bill 2446 which proposes the establishment of a special hospital, to be called the Philippine Teachers’ Hospital, in the National Capital Region as the primary medical facility for the hospitalization and medical care of teachers and their dependents.
“Teachers are indeed our unsung heroes. Despite the difficulties that continue to confront their profession, they remain fiercely loyal to their responsibility in molding the values and character of the young generation,” Rodriguez said.
In filing the measure, Rodriguez cited the policy of the State to adopt an integrated and comprehensive approach to health development which shall endeavor to make essential health and other social services available to all people at affordable cost.
Rodriguez said teachers are being constantly called upon by officials of the local and national government to assist in various extra-curricular and civic activities which contribute to the welfare of the community and the country, most notable of which is guarding the precincts and counting their votes during election period.
Rodriguez cited a statistical report from the Department of Education (DepEd) stating that the normal teacher-student ratio in the elementary and secondary levels is now at 1:35 and 1:39, respectively.
“Due to the complexities of their job, our teachers are exposed to health risks. Most common ailments teachers suffer from are clearly work-related such as pharyngitis, hypertension, anemia and hyperacidity, among others,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez stressed the need for the State to provide health facilities that specifically cater to the needs of teachers in view of the important role they play in educating children and the nation’s progress.
The measure to be known as the “Philippine Teachers’ Hospital Act,” seeks to provide comprehensive health care services to all teachers and their dependents and complement the existing package of services under the National Health Insurance Program, so as to include preventive, promotive, diagnostic, curative and rehabilitative programs.
It also ensures the physical and mental capability of all teacher applicants through the conduct of medical examination and set-up a system that will effectively monitor the condition of patients and to generate relevant information/data in aid of policy formulation.
Under the measure, all regional hospitals in the country shall establish a teachers’ ward, with an initial capacity of at least 50 beds, which will provide hospitalization and medical care to teachers and their dependents residing outside the NCR.
The Philippine Teachers’ Hospital shall be administered by a Board of Directors lead by the Secretary of DepEd as ex-officio chairman, the Secretary of the Department of Health (DOH) as ex-officio vice chairman; the Chairman of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and Secretary of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) as ex-officio member.
An amount of P300 million shall be appropriated for the establishment and initial operations of the Philippine Teachers’ Hospital. PNA