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Heartbreaking situation: Tulfo bats for budget increase of National Children’s Hospital

SENATOR Idol Raffy Tulfo is pushing for the increase of the budget of the National Children’s Hospital (NCH) which is a health facility for the children from the poorest families dealing with the most serious pediatric cases that is not receiving enough support from the government.

During his privilege speech Monday, Nov. 21, Tulfo divulged the appalling and heartbreaking situation in the hospital which adversely affects its patients, such as its lack of manpower, below industry standard facilities, and outdated or lacking equipment.

He also urged the Department of Health (DOH), Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and his esteemed colleagues to personally visit the hospital to witness its struggles firsthand.

“Mr. President, the National Children’s Hospital, a health facility for the poorest and weakest, is in dire need of our help. Kung paano naghihingalo ang mga pasyente doon, gayun din ang paghihingalo ng pasilidad at sitwasyon ng National Children’s Hospital,” he said.

“I invite you to visit this hospital para makita niyo kung gaano kalunus-lunos ang kalagayan ng mga pasyente doon. Nang makausap ko sila, wala daw pong bumibisita sa kanila na mga opisyal ng gobyerno. There is something wrong in the way they are treated and how the government handles them. They are not getting the help they must receive,” he added.

To remedy the dire situation, the Senator moved to augment the NCH budget by sourcing it from underperforming government agencies.

Tulfo, a veteran broadcaster doing public service prior to his election as Senator, shared how the situation in NCH has not improved through the years, and in fact has even gotten worse. He visited this back then for a Christmas treat celebration for the children and their parents, and made a donation.

In his recent visit to said hospital, Tulfo shared that the suffering of children and sadness and sorrow of parents accompanying them are visibly apparent on their faces as they were lined up in the hospital’s cramped, hot and humid hallway which only compounded to their sufferings.

Citing one case in particular that broke his heart, Tulfo recalled seeing a six-year-old boy with stage 4 liver cancer having a hard time breathing even if he already had an oxygen tank assisting him. He shared that he was told that the patient was just waiting for his time to go.

Further discussing the problems hounding the hospital due to lack of budget, Tulfo said that NCH could not handle the number of patients that comes to them. He said that there is a three-year waiting time for some of the therapies being offered to the patients including PT, OT, and Speech therapy.

Tulfo said the hospital’s building, meanwhile, is dilapidated and its sorry state cannot properly accommodate children. He described: “May basag na bintana at plywood ang ipinangtatakip dito. There are not enough electric fans and no proper ventilation, and the windows have to be opened for fresh air. Sinabitan ng manipis na kurtina ang bintana marahil upang di makapasok ang mga lamok at alikabok!”

Furthermore, the Senator from Isabela and Davao shared that he noticed water stains from the hospital’s ceiling, which is a sign of water leak in the roofs from the last rainfall.

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