MINERVA BC NEWMAN
CEBU CITY – Cebu 5th District Representative and Deputy House Speaker Vincent Franco Frasco filed House Bill No. 3879 on August 22, proposing to establish a Heart Center of the Philippines-Visayas to be located in Liloan, Cebu Province.
Frasco said this is in response to President Ferdinand Marcos’ pronouncement during his first State of the Nation Address (SONA) that specialty hospitals like the Heart Center should not only be available in the National Capital Region, but also in other areas of the country.
The Deputy Speaker cited data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), as compiled from the Department of Health (DOH), the Philippine Heart Association (PHA), government and private hospitals, and other healthcare facilities all over the country which indicated that ischemic heart diseases were the leading causes of death from January to October 2021 with 110,332 cases or 18.3 percent of the total deaths in the country. This was a 28 percent increase from the 86,164 deaths or 16.9 percent of the total deaths in the country during the same period in 2020.
“It is evident that there is a need to put up Heart Centers in the provinces to decentralize the services in the National Capital Region. With the increasing number of heart disease cases in the country, medical services should be made accessible and affordable to Filipinos nationwide, especially those living in the remote areas,” Frasco said.
He explained why the Heart Center is located in Liloan. The town is the gateway to the North of Cebu and a convenient access to the cities of Mandaue, Lapu-Lapu and Cebu and to the cities and towns from the West and South of Cebu.
“At present, there is an increasing number of residents in the Visayas diagnosed with heart illnesses. It is thus imperative that specialized medical services should be provided for those with heart and other allied diseases in the Visayas area, especially the poor and less fortunate in life, without regard to race, creed, color or political belief,” he said.
Frasco added that the establishment and maintenance of the Heart Center of the Philippines – Visayas will give true meaning to the Constitutional policy of providing efficient and effective health care system that is responsive to the health needs and problems of the people.