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Health not priority under Aquino’s 2013 budget

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“Once charity patients from indigent families without PhilHealth coverage are turned away from public hospitals, many will be forced to simply wait for death even if they are suffering from what originally were treatable diseases.”


MANILA — Gabriela Women’s Party Rep. Emmi de Jesus is fuming mad. According to the staunch women’s rights activist lawmaker, the Benigno Aquino III administration is deliberately and perhaps even spitefully ignoring the welfare of the Filipino poor when it crafted it’s budget proposal for 2013. De Jesus cited in particular the Aquino government’s 2013 budget proposal for the Department of Health.

“The P56.8 billion ($1.35 billion) proposed 2013 DOH budget dismally falls short of the World Health Organization’s recommended budgetary allocation of five percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for public health. It represents a mere 1.89 percent of the GDP registered by the National Economic Development Agency for the third quarter of 2011. The Aquino administration’s intention to spend no more than P0.62 ($0.014) per Filipino in 2013 without doubt constitutes a violent attack against the Filipino people’s right to health,” de Jesus said.

De Jesus said that what exacerbates an already sorry situation is how the increase in the DOH-proposed budget will only go to PhilHealth.

“The Philhealth system can never replace a genuine universal health care system, especially in a society where poor families can ill afford to feed their families more than twice a day, let alone pay for the PhilHealth premiums. The PhilHealth card is also useless in poorly provisioned public hospitals,” De Jesus asserted.

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