Fabella privatization, kiss of death to poor moms, babies
National labor center Kilusang Mayo Uno condems the impending privatization of the Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital, a maternity hospital known for catering to the poor. The move is a kiss of death for poor mothers and babies. The hospital’s impending transfer to a new building, which will be built by J. D. Legaspi Construction as part of a P743-million deal, in the San Lazaro headquarters of the Department of Health, will surely mean higher fees for giving birth. Fabella’s privatization shows that Pres. Noynoy Aquino is not really concerned with women’s reproductive health and pushed for the passage of the Reproductive Health Bill to please giant multinational pharmaceutical companies which are eager to sell contraceptives to the government. Fabella’s privatization is a kiss of death to poor mothers and babies, and shows that Aquino is not only a Disaster President but also a Health Disaster. Instead of upholding the public’s interest by increasing subsidy to the health sector, Aquino is upholding big capitalists’ interest in privatizing public hospitals. The maternity hospital’s privatization gives a new meaning to the DOH’s Administrative Order 2008-0029, titled “Implementing Health Reforms towards Rapid Reduction in Maternal and Neonatal Mortality,” which bans home birthing. The administrative order, which is known as the “No Home Birthing Policy,” was approved under the presidency of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo but continues to be implemented by the Aquino government. It is clear by now that Aquino continues the ban on home birthing in order to ensure the profits of big capitalists who are investing in the privatization of public hospitals. He is really not concerned with women’s reproductive health but with big capitalists’ profits. KMU reiterates the call for the junking of the Aquino government’s Public-Private Partnership program, which seeks to privatize public hospitals in the guise of improving hospitals’ facilities and services.