CPP denounces Aquino plan to privatize all 72 public hospitals

Information Bureau
Communist Party of the Philippines
February 17, 2014

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) denounced the Aquino regime for going full-throttle in its effort to privatize public hospitals under the regime's so-called Public-Private Partnership (PPP) program.

The CPP issued this statement a day after Aquino's health secretary Enrique Ona declared that all 72 public hospitals can be subjected to privatization and defended the signing of contracts for the P5.69 billion privatization of the Philippine Orthopedic Center to Megawide Construction Corp.-World Citi Inc. consortium.

The Megawide-World Citi consortium is a company largely controlled by the big oligarch Henry Sy of the SM group of companies.

"The CPP denounces the Aquino regime for fooling the public by describing the privatization of the POC as 'modernizing health care' in the vain hope of making it more palatable to the people."

"The privatization of the POC and the rest of the public health system will make health care ever more inaccessible to the Filipino people," said the CPP. "It further aggravates the Philippine reactionary state's abandonment of health care and will complete its transfer to the control of big profit-driven capitalists."

"The facts clearly show that the so-called modernization program that will be implemented under the 25-year build-operate-transfer scheme will allow the big capitalists to practically own and make huge profits from the POC," said the CPP.

"Like investing in the construction of malls and condominiums, Henry Sy would not have entered a contract to 'modernize' the POC if he were not assured of huge profits," said the CPP.

The new POC is set to be constructed within the National Kidney Institute compound and will be called the Center for Bone and Joint Diseases, Trauma and Rehabilitation Medicine.

"Once operational, the new POC will allow Sy's Megawide to allocate only 10% of its beds to indigent patients, from the current 65%, with the rest allocated to paying patients who will either be shelling out cash or pay through their PhilHealth or other private insurance accounts," said the CPP citing studies done by academic groups.

"Aquino's so-called health modernization program is nothing other than privatization," said the CPP.

"The CPP calls on the Filipino people to vigorously oppose the privatization of the Philippine Orthopedic Center and the overall health privatization scheme of the Aquino regime under its deceptively named Universal Health Care Program, which is nothing more than a rehash of the long-standing World Bank strategic program to privatize health care and health insurance."