Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Hontiveros: Health Crisis Looms If Multiple Health Emergencies Are Unaddressed

MOST READ

“The Philippines is facing multiple health emergencies. If left unaddressed and untreated, they could blow up into a full-blown public health crisis in the coming years.”

This is the warning raised on Monday by Senator Risa Hontiveros, who said that the country is looking at a ‘looming health crisis’ amid the outbreak of serious diseases and complications even as government seeks to cut spending on health services and basic medicines remain costly.

“Epidemics left and right”

Citing data from the Department of Health (DOH), Hontiveros pointed out that the country is now suffering its worst dengue epidemic since 2012, with 271, 480 recorded cases from January to August 2019 alone. The dengue outbreak has since killed 1,107 people – half of whom were children aged 5-9 years old. Likewise, Metro Manila and other regions in Visayas and Mindanao are experiencing a measles outbreak, with a 550 percent increase in the number of measles patients in NCR from January to February 2019 compared to last year.

Hontiveros also highlighted an increase in cases of diphtheria (167 cases in 2019) and the reemergence of polio after 19 years. She noted that children were affected the most by diphtheria, with the median age of diphtheria deaths pegged at 4 years old.

“Highest teenage pregnancy and HIV-AIDS rate”

Apart from serious diseases, Hontiveros said that the country has registered the highest teenage pregnancy rate in the Asia-Pacific region. In 2017 alone, 530 teenage girls as young as 10 years old gave birth every day. No less than Socio-Economic Planning Secretary Ernesto Pernia called the teenage pregnancy problem a “national social emergency.”

“Prescription of health reforms”

Hontiveros said that what is needed is a “comprehensive prescription” of sound health policies, swift and adequate mobilization of funds, resources and manpower to capably address the multiple health emergencies.

“Kung may multiple health emergencies, kailangan din ng multiple na tugon. Kailangan ng komprehensibong reseta at gamutan,” Hontiveros said.

The senator said that she is pushing for six (6) proposals to respond to the numerous health issues.

1. Full restoration of the DOH’s 2020 budget and retention of thousands of government health personnel with better compensation and benefits

2. Revive the DOH’s Oplan Alis Disease to strengthen vaccination efforts and study the possibility of incentivizing its vaccination programs to motivate more Filipinos to get their recommended vaccines.

3. Broaden the list of medicines covered by the maximum drug retail prices (MDRP) for drugs, pursuant to the Cheaper Medicines Act of 2008 (Republic Act 9502), covering 120 drugs addressing leading diseases and catastrophic conditions in the Philippines.

4. Immediate passage of the Teenage Pregnancy Prevention Bill and the Strengthened Anti-hospital Detention Law

5. Full funding and implementation of health policies such as the Universal Health Care Law, HIV-AIDS Policy Act, Mental Health Law and the Reproductive Health Law

6. Back to basics health approach by strengthening the primary care and preventive sides of the country’s health services.

Photo Credit: facebook.com/hontiverosrisa

- Advertisement -
- Advertisement -

Latest News

Sen. Gatchalian Files Bill That Seeks To Establish “New Normal” Education

Gatchalian: “Layunin natin na patatagin ang ating sistema ng edukasyon at siguruhin na sa panahon ng krisis, walang mag-aaral ang maiiwan.”

DOJ Sec. Guevarra: Mass Gathering Restrictions Due To COVID-19 Easing Up

Positive developments on the COVID-19 situation in the country within the month may prompt changes in the government's protocol on mass gatherings, including religious activities, as per Guevarra.

House Passes Anti-Terrorism Bill On 2nd Reading

PRRD has certified the Anti-Terrorism bill as urgent, saying its immediate passage would “address the urgent need to strengthen the law on anti-terrorism..."

Senators Disappointed Over Failure to Provide Compensation to Healthcare Workers

Several senators called out the Department of Health for failing to compensate the health workers who have died while helping Filipinos with COVID-19.

Sen. Gatchalian Bill Authorizing Class Opening Beyond August Gets Senate Nod

The Senate has approved on third and final reading a bill that gives the President the authority to postpone the opening of classes beyond August.

DOH Usec. Vergeire: More ‘Late’ Reports Come In As PH COVID-19 Cases Rise To 18,638

In its case bulletin, the DOH said 433 of the new cases are "late" or results belatedly reported and were only verified recently, while 119 are "fresh cases".

Mayor Vico: Only Essential Travels Are Allowed In Pasig

Narito ang guidelines ng mga Pasig residents ngayong naisapatupad na ang GCQ:

Spox. Roque: Everyone Allowed To Go Out Under MGCQ

Areas that shifted to GCQ from June 1 to 15 are Pangasinan, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon, Calabarzon, Metro Manila, Central Visayas, Zamboanga City, and Davao City, while the rest of the country is under a less strict MGCQ.

Mayor Labella: Cebu City Under GCQ From June 1 To 15

Labella: "Under GCQ, there will be more businesses that will reopen and public transport will resume operations but with reduced operating capacity."