Through the ongoing changes brought about by the global health crisis, the Philippine government is continuously striving to safeguard our frontliners, including our overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), as they return to their jobs to support their families and contribute to the country’s economic progress. As part of these efforts, the Duterte administration has established the OFW Hospital.
The OFW Hospital is located on a 1.5-hectare plot of land in San Fernando City, Pampanga. It is a collaborative initiative involving the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), which serves as the owner and overall manager; the Bloomberry Cultural Foundation, which is the construction sponsor; the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), responsible for funding and procuring medical equipment; and the University of the Philippines – Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH), tasked with spearheading and managing the initial operations of the hospital’s polyclinic.
This groundbreaking hospital is the first of its kind in the country. With a capacity of over 100 beds, its main objective is to provide free, high-quality, and easily accessible healthcare services specifically tailored to overseas Filipino workers and their qualified dependents or beneficiaries.
In addition to DOLE, representatives from government agencies such as the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA), Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), Department of Budget and Management (DBM), as well as representatives of land and sea-based OFW Hospital: Dedicated to Filipino Migrant Workers, will be involved in overseeing the facility. Consequently, the OFW Hospital will also serve as the primary healthcare partner for Filipinos who intend to complete their overseas employment applications.
In 2018, initial preparations began for the establishment of the OFW Hospital under the leadership of then Pampanga Governor Lilia Pineda. The project was continued by succeeding Governor Delta Pineda. The provincial government of Pampanga sought the support of the Clark Development Corporation through a usufruct agreement to realize the hospital. However, due to pandemic-related delays, the construction process faced setbacks. The urgency of completing the hospital was emphasized by President Rodrigo Duterte in December of the previous year when he signed Executive Order 154.
In January 2022, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH) signed a memorandum of agreement. This agreement aimed to provide training assistance for clinical and administrative personnel, facilitate the planning and acquisition of hospital equipment, and establish clinical and fiscal process flow.
On February 18, 2022, local officials, along with Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, conducted the groundbreaking ceremony of the OFW Hospital in Brgy. Sinalan, San Fernando City. Governor Pineda commended the project as a significant milestone for the Philippine government’s commitment to caring for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their families. Senator Go mentioned his intention to garner support for the OFW Hospital in the Senate. Furthermore, he suggested the possibility of considering similar projects in the Visayas and Mindanao regions if the hospital proves successful.
On May 1, 2022, President Duterte inspected the hospital again as part of the country’s Labor Day celebration. The hospital opened its polyclinic operations on this occasion. However, according to DOLE, it is expected to be fully operational by the end of June.
The OFW Hospital is designed to be a dedicated healthcare facility exclusively for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and their family dependents. Its primary objective is to prioritize the healthcare needs of OFWs. In addition, the hospital offers several benefits to OFWs and their dependents, which include the following services provided free of charge:
- Free consultation and referral services: OFWs and their dependents can avail themselves of medical consultations and receive referrals to specialists if required.
- Medical certificates: The hospital provides medical certificates to OFWs, which may be necessary for their employment or related purposes.
- Laboratory exams: OFWs and their dependents can undergo laboratory examinations, such as blood tests or diagnostic procedures, without any cost.
- Other medical requirements for overseas employment: The hospital also assists in fulfilling the medical requirements necessary for OFWs seeking employment abroad.
It is important to note that the OFW Hospital is currently in its early stages of operation, and the development and finalization of these services are still ongoing as the facility is being completed.
As of May 2022, the OFW Hospital has been providing medical services for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their dependents through its polyclinic operations. The facility offers the following services:
- General consultations conducted by physicians from UP-PGH.
- Diagnostic, laboratory, and imaging services.
- Referrals to specialists as needed.
The hospital operates from Monday to Friday, excluding holidays, with opening hours from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM.
Who can avail the OFW hospital’s services?
The OFW Hospital is open to all OWWA OFW members, including their eligible dependents, and it provides healthcare services to OFWs whether they are currently bound for abroad or returning to the country. The hospital has no age limit and accepts both land-based and sea-based OFWs. It doesn’t matter if an OFW is currently employed, previously employed, or even undocumented, as the hospital caters to all OWWA OFW members.
In addition to OFWs, the OFW Hospital also serves qualified dependents of OFWs. Qualified dependents may include the following individuals:
- A legal spouse of an OFW.
- A minor or incapacitated child of an OFW.
- A parent who primarily depends on an OFW for support.
- A minor sibling of an unmarried OFW.
These individuals can avail themselves of healthcare services at the OFW Hospital. It is important to note that this information is subject to change, and it is always advisable to contact the OFW Hospital or OWWA for the most up-to-date and accurate details regarding eligibility and services provided.
Completion of OFW Hospital
OFW Hospital Completion Update and Future Plans” posted on January 24, 2022, by GMA Regional TV. The article features statements from key officials involved in overseeing the OFW hospital project, including Dr. Gerardo Legaspi, Director of UP-PGH, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, then Pampanga 2nd District Representative and Presidential Adviser on Clark Flagship Programs and Projects, and Arch. Dan Lichauco from the OFW Hospital Design Team.
According to the article, the officials provided a brief update on the completion status of the OFW hospital and shared future plans for the facility. Dr. Gerardo Legaspi expressed optimism about the progress of the project, highlighting that it is on track and expected to be completed according to the proposed timeline. He emphasized the importance of the OFW hospital in providing specialized healthcare services for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs).
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who served as both a representative and an adviser on Clark Flagship Programs and Projects, acknowledged the significance of the OFW hospital as a testament to the government’s commitment to prioritize the welfare and well-being of OFWs. She stated that the completion of the hospital would not only provide quality medical care but also contribute to the overall development of the region.
Arch. Dan Lichauco, part of the OFW Hospital Design Team, discussed the architectural aspects of the facility. He highlighted that the design aims to create a modern and functional space that caters specifically to the needs of OFWs and their families. The team has put great effort into ensuring that the hospital is equipped with state-of-the-art medical technology and facilities to deliver excellent healthcare services.
In conclusion, the article provides an update on the progress of the OFW hospital, highlighting the positive outlook from key officials involved in the project. It emphasizes the importance of the facility in serving the healthcare needs of OFWs and their families, while also contributing to the region’s development.
Photos of the OFW Hospital in Pampanga
Check out these photos taken of the OFW Hospital as shared on the official Facebook Page of the Presidential Communications (Government of the Philippines)
Frequently Asked Questions
Please check out these common questions and answers about the hospital for OFW migrant workers:
1. What is the OFW Hospital? Where is it located?
Located along MacArthur Highway in Brgy. Sindalan, City of San Fernando, Pampanga, the OFW Hospital is the first healthcare facility in the Philippines that is specifically designed to offer affordable, accessible, and high-quality healthcare services to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their families. The hospital also functions as a primary partner healthcare facility for OFWs who need to fulfill their medical requirements for employment.
2. When was the OFW Hospital built?
The OFW Hospital was initially conceived in 2018 during the tenure of former Pampanga Governor Lilia Pineda. The project was further advanced with the backing of current Governor Dennis Pineda, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, and various government entities including the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), the University of the Philippines-Philippine General Hospital (UP-PGH), in collaboration with the Bloomberry Cultural Foundation and the Clark Development Corporation.
3. Is OFW Hospital already operational?
the facility is functioning as a polyclinic that provides general consultations, diagnostic services (including laboratory tests and imaging), and referral services. These services are delivered by medical professionals from UP-PGH. The facility is still under construction, and additional services will be offered once it is fully completed.
4. Who are entitled to the OFW Hospital’s services?
The OFW Hospital provides healthcare services to all Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs), regardless of their age, whether they work on land or at sea, their employment history, or their membership status with the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA). The hospital also offers its services to the qualified dependents of OFWs, including their legal spouse, minor or incapacitated child of a married OFW, and minor sibling or parent who relies primarily on an unmarried OFW.
5. What time does the OFW Hospital open?
The OFW Hospital operates from Mondays to Fridays, between 8:00 AM and 3:00 PM, excluding holidays. They prioritize online consultations and provide a convenient appointment system through their website. To schedule an online consultation, please use their appointment form available at: https://appointment.ofwhospital.owwa.gov.ph/
6. Can OFWs abroad avail of its services?
Yes, overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who are currently working overseas can also access the general consultation services offered by the OFW Hospitals according to their schedule. They can make online appointments by completing the appointment form available at this link: https://appointment.ofwhospital.owwa.gov.ph/
The OFW Hospital offers free healthcare services to OFWs as well as their qualified dependents:
- General consultations by physicians from UP-PGH
- Diagnostic, laboratory and imaging services, and;
- Referrals to specialists
As mentioned, these services are free and medical documents issued by the facility may be used for overseas employment application
8. Are there other OFW Hospitals that I can visit?
As of now, the OFW Hospital under construction in Pampanga is the first of its kind. Once completed, it aims to become the main healthcare facility for Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and their dependents in Luzon. Senator Go has expressed his vision of establishing additional OFW Hospitals nationwide if the Pampanga project proves successful. This initiative aims to improve the accessibility of quality healthcare for more Filipinos.
The OFW Hospital is being hailed as a testament to the Philippines’ gratitude towards its overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and an unwavering pledge to safeguard and advance their rights and welfare. In the midst of a global crisis, the Philippine government, in collaboration with its partner institutions and fueled by the inherent spirit of bayanihan among Filipinos, takes immense pride in achieving significant milestones such as the establishment of the OFW Hospital: Dedicated to Filipino Migrant Workers. This accomplishment serves as a beacon of hope, aiming to overcome the challenges posed by the passage of time.
To all OFWs and their loved ones, the OFW Hospital stands as an enduring symbol of the Philippine government’s steadfast dedication to prioritize your best interests and ensure the protection and promotion of your well-being. Rest assured that the hospital is committed to serving each and every one of you, as a tangible manifestation of this ongoing commitment.
For more information, you may visit their website at https://ofwhospital.owwa.gov.ph/ or their official Facebook page at https://facebook.com/OFW-Hospital.