“This is the only hospital that caters to poor mothers, not only those who live here in Manila but also nearby provinces, and still the government will close it down.”
MANILA – On mother’s day, May 8, members of progressive women’s group Gabriela gathered in front of Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital to add their voice to the calls to “Save Fabella.”
The Fabella Hospital faces impending closure after House Guaranty Corporation demanded that the hospital vacate the land the hospital has bee occupying . A new Fabella Hospital will be built inside the Department of Health compound, which employees and health group Alliance of Health Workers have been opposing due to the planned lower bed capacity of 400. The Fabella Hospital in Lope De Vega Street in Sta. Cruz Manila has a 700-bed capacity.
“This is the only hospital that caters to,poor mothers, not only those who live here in Manila but also nearby provinces, and still the government will close it down,” said Alice Gapal, Gabriela-National Capital Region vice chairperson.
Gapal, who lives in Caloocan, said she gave birth to her two children in Fabella. She said she opted to give birth in Fabella because of its expertise. She said there is no other hospital like Fabella in Caloocan.
Misty Lorin, deputy secretary general of Gabriela meanwhile slammed President Aquino’s policies regarding social services. She said policies like the Reproductive Health Care are actually geared toward privatization of health services. Lorin said that while the DOH pushes the no home-birthing policy to encourage mothers to give birth in maternity hospitals, it plans to closes down Fabella. She said mothers will have no choice but to go to private hospitals or lying-in clinics.
Meanwhile, Gabriela challenges who ever will win the presidency to purchase the land where Fabella Hospital has been occupying and immediately do the repairs needed.
“The government has neglected Fabella Hospital because of its plan to privatize (government hospitals). The next administration should ensure to fix this not only its physical aspects but the services as well, Lorin said.
She added that this would only happen if the people will not let the Presidential bet of Malacañang, Mar Roxas, win the elections.
“We should stop Aquino government’s ‘daang matuwid’ that privatizes services. Dapat bago naman. Babantayan natin na hindi matulad sa daang bulok ang tatahakin ng bagong gobyerno. (We need change. We should be vigilant so that the incoming government would not follow the same rotten path.) We will make sure that service-oriented institutions, like Fabella hospital, will continue to serve the people,” Lorin added.
Text by Anne Marxze D. Umil
Photos from Gabriela’s Facebook page