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House panel approves Hospital Licensure Act.

To ensure better health services and facilities in hospitals, the House Committee on Health chaired by La Union Rep. Eufranio Eriguel approved House Bill 4000 or the Hospital Licensure Act.

Quezon Rep. Angelina Tan, one of the principal authors, said the bill seeks to strengthen the regulation of hospitals and health facilities in the country by making it mandatory for hospital owners to seek licenses prior to their operation.

The license will be secured from the proposed Bureau of Health Facilities and Services that will also act as the regulatory agency for hospital operations.

Tan said the measure should expand and strengthen the regulation of health facilities in order to ensure the safety and quality of the health care facilities.

She explained that dramatic changes and improvement in the field of health care during the past decades have led to the emergence and development of new types of health care facilities.

"We can see new types of health facilities such as diagnostic and rehabilitative centers unlike before when there were only hospitals and clinics. A number of different types of facilities do not anymore qualify under the regulatory mandate of the Department of Health," Tan said.

Mandated to secure license from the BHFS are all public and private health facilities or related facilities which provide diagnostic, therapeutic, rehabilitative, and other health care services.

The initial license to operate and maintain a health facility shall be valid for a period of two years from its date of issuance, and shall be renewed regularly, subject to the rules and regulations to be issued by the BHFS.

The BHFS license is separate from other business and trade licenses to be secured by hospital owners from local and national government units.

According to Tan, the license to operate and maintain a health facility or other related facilities shall be issued by the BHFS only after it has conducted a comprehensive on-site inspection and has certified that the applicant has satisfactorily complied with the requisites prescribed.

A BHFS license is non transferrable, and separate licenses shall be required for health facilities or other related facilities or branches maintained in separate premises even though they are operated under the same management.

The measure mandates the BHFS to approve plans and issue permits or give authority to construct or expand health facilities and other related facilities.

The BHFS shall also determine, levy, assess and collect appropriate permit fees, registration fees, license fees and surcharges pertinent to the operation of health facilities.

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Title Annotation:National
Publication:Manila Bulletin
Date:Mar 17, 2014
Words:416
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