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Save Fabella Hospital!

This petition had 664 supporters

Petition Letter to President Rodrigo R. Duterte of the Republic of the Philippines

The impending abolition of Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital on June 9, 2016 spells a death sentence to the already dismal state of maternal and child health services Philippines. This is the consequence of blatant privatization, dating as far back as 2004 when Home Guaranty Corporation took over authority and management the Old Bilibid Compound where Fabella Hospital currently stands from the Philippine Estate Authority. In 2007, the Hospital Director’s announcement that Fabella’s structure is weak and might collapse was answered by then President Gloria Arroyo with a decision to sell the Old Bilibid Prison including the Fabella Hospital. The attempt to sell and demolish the Fabella Hospital was foiled by the strong protest actions by the patients, community people, and health workers.

Since then, Fabella Hospital’s structural needs have been criminally neglected and its deteriorating conditions became justification for its closure. The Fabella Hospital administration and the Department of Health explained that 4 out of its 8 buildings suffer structural defects and must be completely vacated until June 9, 2016. In response to structural concerns, DPWH does recommend retrofitting or a new building, but does not condemn the present location nor see it necessary to abolish Fabella.

Curiously however, a letter from the Home Guaranty Corporation (HGC) dated September 4, 2015 stated that the occupants of the Old Bilibid Compoud including the lot of DJFMH must vacate the property immediately to allow HGC to market and sell the property to “recover the government’s financial exposure in the failed urban renewal project” which amounted to Php 1.53 billion in early 2000.

Fabella Hospital is the national maternal hospital and has been operating for 96 year. It is recognized even internationally for its contributions to maternal health in the Philippines, especially for the poorest mothers who are able to give birth there at little or no cost. Despite its limited resources, it has provided tertiary specialty care to mothers and children with more than 100% occupancy rate and an average of 1,000 patients per day. As of 2015 it was recognized by the WHO “as a role model of the World Health Organization-Western Pacific Region Office for essential newborn care programs, which have been proven to reduce infant morbidity and mortality”.

If the closure pushes through, where will the many expectant mothers from poor communities and far-flung provinces go to give birth when the replacement institution only has 400 bed capacity instead of the 700 bed capacity operating currently at Fabella? Moreover, what will happen to key programs such as the kangaroo care maternal program, School of Midwifery, and vital internship opportunities for medical students?

The situation leaves haunting uncertainty for the 1,300 employees who will be displaced by the Fabella closure. Already, resident physicians received termination contract letters from the management.

In a country where maternal deaths have soared as high as 221 per 100,000 population despite a target of 52 per hundred thousand in the 2015 Millenium Development Goals and amid a DOH No Home Birthing Policy, it is imperative that Fabella Hospital must be saved!

Which is why we, the undersigned, call on the President of the Republic of the Philippines to:

Save Mothers, Save Babies!

No to Abolition of Fabella Hospital!

Onsite Development of the Hospital Using Public Funds!

Present lot of the hospital should be awarded to the hospital!

No to the displacement of Fabella Employees and patients!

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