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Laying the foundations for the privatization of government hospitals

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MANILA – The privatization of public hospitals has been going on since the regime of the late president Ferdinand Marcos. The different administrations had different names for it: public-private partnerships, corporatization, user’s service fee schemes, revenue enhancement programs, outsourcing or outright sale. Health groups said privatization has been the framework of almost all health policies and programs of the various administrations since Marcos.

According to the Network Opposed to Privatization, Marcos laid the legal framework for the privatization of government hospitals throughPresidential Decree 2029 and 2080, which and legalized the sale of Welfareville Property where the National Center for Mental Health stands through the Republic Act 5260.

The late president Corazon Aquino, on the other hand, prepared the organizational mechanism for privatization by setting up the Committee on Privatization and the Asset Privatization Trust. The Build-Operate and Transfer Law was also enacted during her term, which allowed the private sector to access official development aid for privatization projects.

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