By MARC MENDIOLA
BAGUIO CITY — The Community Health Education Services and Trainings in the Cordillera Region (Chestcore), a non-government organization involved in community health care program challenges incoming President Rodrigo Duterte to be true to his pronouncements about ensuring accessible public health care services in the country.
Chestcore, in a statement said the health program Duterte laid down during his campaign if seriously implemented would indeed uphold the people’s right to health. “We warmly welcome the declaration (of Durterte) and we positively look forward but at the same time we challenge the incoming president to make good of his promises,” the statement read.
Chestcore said that Duterte, during his campaign said that streamlining and improving the country’s health care services would be among his priorities. He spoke of building regional specialty hospitals in the Visayas, Mindanao, Southern and Northern Luzon to serve Filipinos outside Metro Manila who have been denied full access to medical health care services for so long.
Duterte said that funds will be sourced out through efficient tax collection, pooling of sin taxes from Pagcor and the existing Philhealth budget and the national budget for the health program
“Duterte hit it right when he declared that charity ward patients in government hospitals will not have to pay for anything because the government shall shoulder all expenses,” Chestcore statement read.
Chestcore reiterated that Philhealth coverage is useless without hospitals or if hospitals lack the facilities and services needed.
Chestcore said Duterte’s declarations compared to the Aquino administration’s health care program are very promising in the revival of the dying health care system in the country. The health group said that the present administration sold out the health care system to the highest bidder and bowed down to the dictates of the IMF-World Bank through its public-private partnership that was geared towards the privatization of public health care.
“Aquino never had a heart for the majority poor whom he declared as his Bosses during his inaugural speech in 2010. The bossess he served were the ruling classes, where he belongs,” the statement further read.
Chestcore said the result of the recently concluded presidential election confirmed the peoples’ resounding rejection of the Aquino administration where over 15 million Filipinos voted for Duterte who has openly criticized the anti-people program and policies of the present administration.
It can be recalled that in 2013 the Philippine Society for General Internal Medicine said that six out of ten Filipinos die without seeing a doctor.
Chestcore said this situation was aggravated by the Aquino government’s program of privatizing public health care service under the guise of modernization and corporatization.
“The Aquino regime committed the highest form of treachery by arrogantly trampling on the basic right to health of the people,” the statement said. # nordis.net