The Philippine government has been trying to go beyond labeling overseas Filipino workers as modern day heroes.
Special lanes at airport immigration counters, proposed government agency for overseas Filipinos and dedicated bank for OFWs, and now, special hospital wards for them.
ACTS-OFW Partylist Rep. Aniceto Bertiz III, one of the proponents of the OFWs ward, said that among those areas that expressed interest for the establishment of the OFWs wing include Lanao del Norte, Cotabato and Makati City.
“Most of the hospitals are willing to have a dedicated wing or ward for OFWs,” said Bertiz.
Health Secretary Paulyn Jean Ubial said the Department of Health is planning to put up special ward for 70 public hospitals before the year ends. She made the confirmation after a Memorandum of Agreement for the establishment of OFWs ward was formally signed.
Ubial said the DOH would mandate all of its hospitals to have their own OFWs ward.
“Having a special ward for OFWs is a way of giving importance to our modern heroes,” said Ubial.
The pilot ward for Filipino migrant workers will be at Jose B. Lingad Memorial Regional Hospital, a Level III tertiary, teaching and training hospital with 500 authorized beds in San Fernando, Pampanga.
“Why the pilot of OFWs ward is in Region 3? As we all know, there are a lot of OFWs from that region,” Bertiz pointed out.
Bertiz added the OFWs wing will be dedicated to provide treatment and service to OFWs who are heading abroad or in need of medical treatment.
“The wing will be exclusive for OFWs especially those who will undergo pre-employment medical examination,” said Bertiz.
OFWs who require hemodialysis and chemotherapy and treatment for other serious diseases, Bertiz added, can also receive those free as allotted in the tertiary hospital’s P578.44 million budget for 2018.