At a time when health infrastructure and concerns of health workers demand to be addressed, the Philippine government takes a sharp turn and reveals it true priorities.
Tags: health budget
Let us demand what our communities need the most – public health education, free testing, water supply, sanitation, subsidy.
“The problem with the current policy is that we are operating under the premise of very little budget, that’s why there’s a shortage of COVID-19 test kits. And people would have to pay for it first.”
Women’s group Gabriela said that military deployment is not the answer to prevent the pandemic, and instead called on the government to provide free, accessible healthcare and concrete solutions for the marginalized sectors which are the most affected in this situation.
From 2016 to 2019 alone, the public health program’s total budget allocation has been reduced significantly, varying from 15-percent to 28-percent cut.
For one, the budget for Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, the lead public hospital in the government’s effort to address the looming outbreak, has been slashed from P263 million in 2019 to P115 million in 2020.
While public hospitals are understaffed, government fails to fill some 20,000 vacancies for health workers.
The 2018 budget for public hospitals was cut by P1.5 billion.
There are 200,000 unemployed nurses in the country. Yet those who work in government and private hospitals are overworked and underpaid.
It was just hard not to hear them — their voices were becoming more and more distinct.
By INA ALLECO SILVERIO
“Under the Aquino administration, public health services are no longer free but they come for a fee.” – Alliance of Health Workers