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Filipino Private Specialists Can Treat Arroyo’s Disease While Public Health System Cannot Address Maternal and Child Deaths
Press Release Posted on November 6th, 2011.
Rep. Emmi De Jesus, 0917-3221203
Rowena Festin, 0915-6349308
The increasingly hot debate on whether former President Arroyo should be allowed by the DOJ to leave the country for medical treatment abroad comes primarily from the fear of many that Arroyo has no intention of returning amidst the nearing resolution of graft charges against her.
Meanwhile, Filipino medical specialists are affronted because they claim that the technology and skills to address her medical condition is currently available locally.
“This issue glaringly exposes the bipolar situation of the Philippine health system. The private health system boasts of highly skilled specialists who can treat most health conditions, so long as the patient has unlimited resources to pay for it, let alone a former President accused of amassing so much wealth from the national coffers. Behind this picture is the starkly contrasting public health system that is gasping for breath itself, leaving poor women and children dying from preventable health conditions” Gabriela Women’s Party representative Emmi De Jesus pointed out.
“The dying Philippine public health sector is a result of government’s repeated budget cuts and continued privatization policy, resulting to very high out-of-pocket costs for poor patients. This reflects a government that has reneged on its responsibility to give ‘priority for the needs of the under-privileged, sick, elderly, disabled, women, and children’ and ‘provide free medical care to paupers,’ as mandated by the Philippine Constitution,” added Rep. Emmi De Jesus.
“Next week, the Senate is up for reviewing the General Appropriations Act for 2012 as approved by the House of Representatives. I urge women, especially from marginalized sectors, to take an active part in claiming for their right to quality health services. Let us strengthen our collective voice in demanding for an increase in the meager budget for health so that the public health system can respond to the health needs of poor women and children,” ended De Jesus. ###