By Macon Ramos-Araneta
Former Health Secretary Esperanza Cabral said six out of 10 deaths are due to non-communicable diseases, a situation requiring preventive health care.
She said 25% of all related deaths are from people below 60 years old.
Last year, the proposed allocation for the Department of Health had the highest budgetary increase with P56.8 billion, in line with the Aquino administration’s thrust toward universal coverage through improved government hospitals and construction of more rural health facilities.
“These are welcome developments for the health care system, but a progressive program will not be possible without investing in preventive health care,” said Cabral.
She said investing in preventive health care, like Health Promotion, would minimize risk factors people to increase chances of survival.
Irene Reyes, managing director of Health Justice Philippines, while taxes on tobacco and alcohol increased, planners overlooked allocating revenues for pro-active use to bring down smoking prevalence and other risk factors.
“What we want is true, universal, and holistic health care. This begins not in our hospitals, but within each and every household: increased consciousness, routine inoculation, and regular checkups are necessary to keep sickness at bay,” said Reyes.
Princess Nemenzo of WomanHealth said: “Insufficient funding severely restricts the strategies in support of HP, such as research, policy advocacy, and community mobilization.” Dr. Ulysses Dorotheo, Project Director of the Southeast Asia Tobacco Control Alliance said the country was lagging behind Thailand, Vietnam and Lao which have allocated tobacco taxes for tobacco control.