Manila Bulletin

Fabella-Hospital-0127A Catholic priest has supported the call against the plan to close a popular public hospital in Manila, which has been dubbed as “baby factory”.

According to Franciscan Father Dexter Toledo closing the Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital in Sta. Cruz, Manila should not be the government’s last resort, what they should do is to develop the hospital to further serve those in need, particularly the less fortunate. He noted that the poor mothers are the living proofs why the facility must remain open.

“Instead of contemplating its closure, we call on our new leaders to develop the hospital thus helping it serve more of our citizens,” Toledo said in an article posted on the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) news website.

The Catholic priest added that Fabella Hospital has served many poor families who were in need of medical assistance, especially pregnant women because of the low cost of its services.

“My mother in fact gave birth to me in that same hospital and forever I will be grateful to it. It deeply saddens me that there are unconfirmed talks of its possible closure,” said the executive secretary of the Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines (AMRSP).

The government-owned maternity ward is known as a “baby factory” because it delivers more than a hundred babies everyday. On Thursday, several women’s groups rallied outside the hospital to demonstrate their strong opposition against its planned closure. The Save Fabella Hospital Movement said the closure could also displace more than 1,300 hospital employees, adding that many resident physicians have already received termination contract letters from the management. The group noted the facility’s structural needs have been “criminally neglected” and its deteriorating conditions became justification for its closure. They also called on president-elect Rodrigo Duterte to intervene and save the hospital from the impending abolition.