Being underfunded now, the Dr. Eva Macaraeg-Macapagal National Center for Geriatric Health is currently being eyed for much better budget support in House Bill 6448 or the Philippine Geriatric Center Act on Monday, October 1, the first day of this year’s National Elderly Week.
The HB 6448 provides initial funding of P300 million for the equipment, staffing, and training facilities of the hospital. Senior Citizen Party-List Rep. Milagros Aquino Magsaysay addressed that the National Center for Geriatric Health, at present, only receives 10% of the operating funds it needs.
In May 2010, then President and now Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo led the blessing and soft launch of the Dr. Eva Macaraeg-Macapagal National Center for Geriatric Health. The 50-bed hospital was built at a cost of P200 million.
Magsaysay added that the National Center for Geriatric Health (NCGH), which is part of the Jose Reyes Memorial Medical Center, will be a stand-alone medical center when HB 6448 becomes law and with that autonomy comes more funding for its operations.
HB 6448 also gives the NCGH a research mission focusing on geriatric medicine and other diseases afflicting the elderly, which in turn will secure the number of health professionals needed to fulfill the mandate of the RA 9994 Sec. 5C, which installs geriatric wards in all public health facilities nationwide.