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Marcos OKs law expanding specialty centers nationwide
Marcos OKs law expanding specialty centers nationwide
Marcos OKs law expanding specialty centers nationwide
by Christhel Cuazon29 August 2023
Photo courtesy: Bongbong Marcos Facebook page

President Ferdinand 'Bongbong' Marcos Jr. has signed into law a measure that seeks to establish and institutionalize more specialty centers nationwide that will provide accessible and affordable healthcare services for all.

According to the Presidential Communications Office (PCO), Marcos signed into law the Republic Act No. 11959 or the "Regional Specialty Centers Act" last Thursday, August 24.

Under the law, the Department of Health (DOH) will be tasked to establish specialty centers in its hospitals in every region and in government-owned and controlled specialty hospitals, prioritizing cancer care, cardiovascular care, lung care, renal care and kidney transplant, brain and spine care, trauma care and burn care.

The specialty centers will also prioritize orthopedic care, physical rehabilitation medicine, infectious disease and tropical medicine, toxicology, mental health, geriatric care, neonatal care, dermatology, eye care, and ear, nose, and throat care.


According to the PCO, the law mandates the DOH to categorize the level of service capability of the specialty centers as National Specialty Centers (NSCs), Advanced Comprehensive Specialty Centers (ACSCs), and Basic Comprehensive Specialty Centers (BCSCs) pursuant to the Philippine Health Facility Development Plan.

It added that "establishment of specialty centers shall adhere to the guidelines set by the DOH on planning and prioritizing health facilities based on the upgrading of hospitals, evidence of the health needs and demands, and service capability of hospitals and geographic or physical access."

"The appropriate level of specialized healthcare provider role in the continuum of care, the availability of competent health human resources for specialized healthcare, and the operational and financial performance of the DOH facilities should also be considered in setting up specialty centers," the PCO said.

"Implementing rules and regulations of the law shall be promulgated by the DOH, in consultation with the NSCs, DOH hospitals and other stakeholders, within 60 days from the effectivity of the law," it added.


The new law is set to take effect 15 days from its publication in the Official Gazette or in a newspaper of general circulation.

During his first State of the Nation Address (SONA), the President expressed his desire to expand specialized hospitals in the Philippines.

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