PGH to build UP Diliman hospital in 'social coup'

Cathy Yang, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 01 2017 01:24 PM | Updated as of Sep 01 2017 03:40 PM

Philippine General Hospital in Manila. Mark Demayo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The Philippine General Hospital is planning to build a branch at the University of the Philippines-Diliman campus in a "social coup" wherein rich and poor patients will be treated no differently, its head said Friday.

The new 700-bed hospital in Quezon City will be built in the next 6 years and will compliment a "vertical" expansion at the premiere government hospital's current site in downtown Manila, said PGH director Gerardo Legaspi.

The PGH has budgeted P3 billion to upgrade its facilities. New acquisitions include 3 CATH labs for heart patients, 2 CT scan machines and robotics.

"That is the social coup that I was thinking of. You'll have 'Triple A' facility where there will be no distinction between private and charity patients," Legaspi said in an exclusive interview with ANC's The Boss.

Philippine General Hospital President Gerardo Legaspi speaks to Cathy Yang for ANC's The Boss.

The plan to build a new state hospital in the Diliman campus area was approved by UP President Danilo Concepcion, Legaspi said. The UP system runs the PGH, located beside its old campus in Manila.

Legaspi said excise tax rates on tobacco and alcohol products, which were last raised in 2012 to help fund public health programs, might need to be increased again.

"Sin tax" proponents cited recent statistics that showed smoking was on the rise as the middle class becomes wealthier.

An initial 60-percent increase and subsequent 9-percent adjustments for succeeding years until 2022 would help raise up to P1 billion for the PGH, he said.