Pimentel wants to expedite creation of Senior Citizens’ Hospital

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 5) — Senate Minority leader Koko Pimentel has asked his colleagues in Congress to expedite the passage of the bill that seeks to create the Philippine Geriatric Medical Center, a specialty hospital for senior citizens.

“Just as there are specialty hospitals for pediatric and obstetric, we believe that the elderly should also have preferential care and assistance from the government,” Pimentel said on Sunday.

Geriatrics is a branch of medicine that focuses on elderly health care through the prevention and treatment of diseases or disabilities that are common among them.

Pimentel said Senate Bill 979 aims to institutionalize a national center for geriatric health to address vulnerabilities and burden of disease among the aging population in the country.

According to the bill's explanatory note, it is envisioned to provide a “full range of health care services to ensure our aging population's quality of life, become an end-referral center for all geriatric healthcare providers, and to stimulate research and training in geriatric health service.”

The proposed Senior Citizens’ Hospital will be established either in Cagayan de Oro or Misamis Oriental, Pimentel said.

The bill was first filed by Senator Risa Hontiveros in March 2021 and was refiled by Pimentel in August 2022.

If passed into law, it will provide better health assistance to 10 million senior citizens in the country, Pimentel said.

According to a report released by the Philippine Statistics Authority in 2022, senior citizens in the country made up 8.5% (9.22 million) of the household population in 2020, higher than the 7.5% (7.53 million) recorded in 2015.

Following the trajectory, Pimentel estimated the Philippines will be an aging society by 2030.

“This gives us all the more reasons to create and maintain purpose-built facilities that will address their needs — especially those who don’t have a support system or financial capability,” he added.