Friday, October 21, 2011

Health Groups Claim Victory on P600M Additional Budget for Hospitals, Vow to Continue the Fight

The Coalition for Health Budget Increase (CHBI) claims its initial victory in the fight for higher health budget when the House of Representatives approved on its October 11 final reading the P200M addition to DOH budget and P400M for Government-Owned and Controlled Corporation Hospitals for 2012.

“Our efforts to expose the ill effects of low health budget paid off. But while we recognize this initial victory as a result of the people’s efforts through the support of pro-health lawmakers, we see that we need to exert more effort to effect  a more substantial increase,” said Jossel Ebesate, president of the Alliance of Health Workers. AHW is a member of the Coalition.

The increase brings the budget of DOH to P42.893B. Sources from the House of Representatives say that out of the P200M increase to DOH budget, P100M will go to  East Avenue Medical Center, P50M to Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital, and P50M to Research Institute for Tropical Medicine.

The GOCC hospitals, namely Philippine Heart Center, Lung Center of the Philippines, National Kidney and Transplant Institute, and Philippine Children’s Medical Center, will get additional P100M each.

“We proved once again that organized action is necessary to push for our rights,” Ebesate said. 

“We are very much thankful for the support of lawmakers like Bayan Muna Rep. Teddy Casino, Gabriela Women’s Party List Rep Emie De Jesus, ACT Party List Rep, Antonio Tinio, and other pro-health congressmen.”

Ebesate expressed dismay over the DOH officials’ position to make do with the limited budget and promote Public-Private Partnership and PhilHealth as sources of funds. This stand of DOH was verbally expressed all throughout the health budget hearings in the House of Representatives.

The health groups vowed to continue the protest actions to push for P90B health budget.#

Jossel I. Ebesate, AHW National President, Mobile number: 0918-9276381
Robert T. Mendoza, AHW Secretary-General, Mobile number: 0932-4649757

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