At least one prisoner in Muntinlupa City’s New Bilibid Prisons (NBP) dies every day due to a shortage of doctors and poor medical facilities, the NBP’s new Hospital Chief Henry Fabo said today.
The death rate at the NBP has neared “critical condition,” Fabo told reporters on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Conference on Prison Health in Makati City.
“In actual number [of inmate death], it’s about once every day,” he said.
He said heart attacks are often the cause of death at the NBP, followed by stroke and chronic kidney disease.
He added that only five doctors and 40 nurses are assigned at the NBP, which has a “poorly equipped hospital” that services 27,000 prisoners. Meanwhile, as little as 13 doctors attend to the more than 47,000 other prisoners detained all over the Philippines.
Last month, Fabo’s predecessor Ernesto Tamayo told the Senate that contagious diseases, exacerbated by overcrowding, were to blame for 20 percent of all deaths in the maximum security section of BNP.
Paul Borlongan, the medical officer at the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology — which is responsible for looking after 136,000 inmates who have yet to be convicted — told GMA News that it has 12 doctors and two psychiatrists at its disposal. Up to 800 BJMP inmates die every year of non-communicable diseases such as heart and kidney disease.
NBP Hospital Chief Fabo meanwhile, said that he, along with NBP chief General Gerald Bantag, has asked for help from the Department of Health “to give us additional doctors or to help us acquire more equipment for [our] hospital.”
This article, 1 inmate dies each day inside New Bilibid Prisons, says hospital chief, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company. Want more Coconuts? Sign up for our newsletters!