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Health Alliance for Democracy (HEAD)

2/F Doña Anita Bldg, 284 E. Rodriguez Ave., Quezon City


Telefax: (02) 725 4760 Email: headphil@gmail.com

June 25, 2010

Health groups present People’s Health Agenda to Aquino

Health groups led by Health Alliance for Democracy (HEAD) gather at the
residence of President-elect Noynoy Aquino in Times St. in Quezon City to
present a nine-point health agenda that the incoming administration should
immediately address.

According to HEAD secretary general Dr. Geneve Rivera, these are the agenda
that the outgoing Arroyo administration miserably failed to do in its years of
misrule and will be the big challenges that the Aquino presidency must act upon
in his assumption to office.

Among the agenda which the group outlined include the release of the 43
illegally arrested health workers or the Morong 43, the increase of the health
budget to at least P90B, the guarantee of free health services and medicine for
the poor in all levels. Among concerns are the issues of health workers,
including the full implementation of salaries and benefits of health workers and
the distribution of adequate health professionals to far flung areas nationwide.
The groups also called on Aquino to put a stop on the privatization of
government hospitals.

“The People’s Health Agenda is just, achievable and will warrant great political
will and resolve from the incoming Aquino administration” says, Dr.Rivera.

The group said that Filipinos continue to suffer from dismal health situation
amidst projection of the Arroyo administration of improved health outcomes.
Even with the much hyped Universal Cheaper Medicine Law of the Arroyo
administration, 70% of Filipinos still cannot afford to buy medicine.

The inadequacy and inaccessibility of public health services is worse than ever.
Infectious and preventable diseases continue to top causes of mortality and
morbidity. Malnutrition and diseases of poverty like tuberculosis plague poor
communities. Preventable deaths of pregnant women remain high at 170 per
100,000 live births are only few of the indicators that genuinely show how dismal
the health situation in the country is.

Even with the presence of the National Health Insurance Program (Philhealth),
there are still gaps in its coverage, the group said. Although the Aquino is
aiming to increase its coverage by 100%, in reality, card issued by Philhealth is
not accepted by most private hospitals and also meaningless in poorly-
provisioned public hospitals with no medicines.

“As reflected in the state of people’s health, President Aquino will inherit nothing
but a legacy of a failing public health system and inglorious past of many
political and economic crises from the Arroyo regime” says Dr. Rivera.
“The health sector has never been a priority of the Arroyo administration.
Hence, we challenge President Aquino never to commit the same mistakes and
crimes that the previous regime committed.”

Last on its agenda, is the call for the prosecution of Mrs. Arroyo for her countless
human rights violations and other crimes against the people.