Tag Archives: Health care

[In the news] GenSan upgrades village health centers -MindaNews

MindaNews » GenSan upgrades village health centers.

By Allen V. Estabillo
August 14, 2012

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/14 August) – The city government has embarked on the rehabilitation and upgrading of its 26 barangay health centers to provide better health services to local residents.

Dr. Edgardo Sandig, City Integrated Health Services Office (CIHSO) chief, said the move is part of the local government’s ongoing efforts to improve the capacity of local health centers and personnel in addressing basic health concerns, especially those involving children and maternal health.

“This is anchored on the city government’s commitment to reduce child mortality and improve maternal health among residents,” he said.

Sandig said the two health concerns were among the eight Millennium Development Goals that 189 members of the United Nations, including the Philippines, had pledged to achieve by the year 2015.

As part of the program, the health official said five barangays – Tambler, San Isidro, Tinagacan, Mabuhay and Katangawan – initially received a grant of P7.5 million or P1.5 million each for the repair and rehabilitation of their health center buildings and facilities.

He said the funds were sourced from the Department of Health’s facilities enhancement program.

Read full article @ www.mindanews.com

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[From the web] Women’s Health Now In Crisis: Pro-Poor Comprehensive Women’s Health Program Needed– Rep. Emmi De Jesus- Gabriela

Women’s Health Now In Crisis: Pro-Poor Comprehensive Women’s Health Program Needed– Rep. Emmi De Jesus
July 20th, 2012

The failure of the Aquino Administration to reduce maternal mortality justifies an immediate review of its health care policies,” according to GWP Rep. Emmi De Jesus on the DOH report that the Philippines failed to reduce maternal mortality despite efforts and interventions.

“President Noynoy Aquino‘s administration is killing our poor women with its failure to deliver the much needed pro-poor and comprehensive health care services to women. Maternal deaths in Metro Manila alone in 2010 were caused by eclampsia, haemorrhage, medical complication and infection. These are easily preventable complications if only there are enough health care facilities with enough health care providers to deliver the much needed health care for the mothers and infant,” added De Jesus.

The 2011 report of Center for Women Resources (CWR) revealed that 90 million Filipinos are served by only 3,050 doctors, 4,600 nurses, and 16,800 midwives.

“Passing a reproductive health bill is not the sole solution to reducing maternal mortality. The government needs to address the more fundamental questions of joblessness and poverty while making health services accessible and affordable to poor women who are the ones victimized by easily preventable complications that cause maternal deaths. This situation is further aggravated by the government’s continuing neglect of the health sector by passing the responsibility to private business through corporatizing of 26 major regional government hospitals,” the Gabriela solon further added.

“Gabriela pushed for a reproductive health bill that will provide the Filipino women a comprehensive health care. Its framework on women’s health goes way beyond the distribution of contraceptives to curb population growth. Enacting a health policy that will help ensure women’s full access to health care will help prevent maternal mortality. But the government must also create programs that will provide for decent local jobs with living wages so the families will have enough income to spend for their health,” ended De Jesus.#

Source: www.gabrielawomensparty.net

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[Announcement] Job posting for Medical Waste (Medwaste) Campaigner -HCWH


Organizational Overview
Health Care Without Harm Southeast Asia is committed to transforming the health care sector so that it is ecologically sustainable and no longer a source of harm to the public’s health and the environment. To that end, HCWH is working to implement ecologically sound and healthy alternatives to health care practices that pollute the environment and contribute to disease.

Health Care Without Harm is an international coalition of hospitals and health care systems, medical professionals, community groups, health-affected constituencies, labor unions, environmental and environmental health organizations and religious groups that advocates globally eliminating healthcare practices that harm people and the environment.

Position Overview
Health Care Without Harm is seeking a dynamic and experienced leader to work as MEDICAL WASTE CAMPAIGNER to assist the organization to counter the threat from medical waste.

The Medical Waste Campaigner will work closely with the different programs of Health Care Without Harm Southeast Asia, and will have primary responsibility to develop and execute plans that will promote key areas of the program such as waste minimization, promotion of appropriate alternative technology and model hospitals.

• Ensure that key stakeholders such as national and local government agencies, as well as other government related agencies and health care facilities, are informed and involved on issues of the campaign.
Develop and oversee the planning, development and implementation of campaign related policies and programs, more specifically on the issues of health care waste minimization, promotion of alternative appropriate technologies for hospital waste disinfection and the creation of model hospitals.
• Maintain effective relationships with partners in health care waste management.
• In coordination with the Communications and Press Campaigner; design strategic media plans targeting general media, social media and other publications that caters key stakeholders.
• Other duties that may be assigned by the Executive Director

• Commitment to the missions of Health Care Without Harm
• Good oral and written communication skills
• Good management and leadership skills
• Flexible, adaptable and goal-oriented
• Must possess the ability to think strategically
• Strong organizational skills, has the ability to take initiative and manage campaigns
• Willingness to travel on a regular basis
Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience required. Degree in Engineering and Health Sciences preferred.

To Apply:
Please email your resume and thoughtful cover letter, outlining how your skills and experience will benefit the campaign to Merci Ferrer, Director, merci@no-harm.org, and cc Joyce Lanuza, Admin Officer, joyce@no-harm.org with the subject line “Medwaste Campaigner”. Deadline for submission of application is on April 9. Screening and interviews will begin immediately. No calls, please. Shortlisted applicants will be informed via email.

Health Care Without Harm is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.

Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of  information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information,  photos etc.

[From the web] Challenges in Attaining Universal Health Care in the Philippines by Medical Action Group

Challenges in Attaining Universal Health Care in the Philippines
by Medical Action Group

While every Filipino is entitled to health care as provided by the Constitution, health care in the country is regarded more as a privilege than a right as poor Filipinos find it extremely difficult to avail of health care services.

Health care inequities

Infant and child mortality

While child mortality rate1 in the Philippines has been declining since 1998, the rate is still high compared to other countries in the region such as Vietnam, Brunei, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia. According to the State of the World’s Children Report 2009 of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Philippines is one of the 68 countries where 97 percent of all neonatal, child and maternal deaths worldwide occur.

Based on the 2008 NDHS results, about one in every 30 children dies before reaching the age of five. The IMR for the five years before the survey (roughly 2004-2008) has declined from 29 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2003 to 25 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2008. The under-five mortality rate (U5MR)2 has also declined: from 40 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2003 to 34 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2008.

Read full article @ MAG

[Blog] Achieving Universal Health Coverage by Medical Action Group

Rx for the Ailing Health Sector: PhilHealth reforms

By the Medical Action Group

 IN MARCH 2011, Dr Shin Young-soo, the World Health Organization’s regional director for the Western Pacific expressed concern over “the continued absence of sufficient healthcare coverage in the country.” The WHO official noted that some 250,000 families “fall into financial hardships” because of the excessive cost of health care.

This observation comes in the midst of the Aquino administration’s avowed push for Universal Health Coverage, especially for indigent Filipino families, as one of its health agenda. Such a universal health care system would bridge the healthcare disparities between the rich and the majority poor.

The 1987 Constitution provides that all Filipinos should have access to health services. This policy finds full expression in Article II, Section 15: “The State shall protect and promote the right to health of the people and instill health consciousness among them.” Article XIII, Section 11 provides that “The State should adopt an integrated and comprehensive approach to health development which shall endeavor to make essential goods, health and other social services available to all the people at affordable costs. There shall be priority for the needs of the underprivileged, sick, elderly, disabled, women and children. The State shall endeavor to provide free medical care to paupers.”

And yet, from one administration to another, the same issues and deficiencies continue to plague the country’s health sector. Key healthcare issues crippling the nation like the healthcare inequities, failed public healthcare financing, the continuous exodus of health professionals and weak health regulations pose critical challenges for the Aquino administration in attaining Universal Health Coverage.

Badly broken

Calling our country’s health care system “badly broken” and in need of repair, President Benigno S. Aquino III outlined his plans for a reform package based on universal health coverage for all Filipinos. This plan would put the national government at center stage for funding healthcare services by amending Republic Act No. 7875 (otherwise known as the National Health Insurance Act of 1995) or enacting a new law by developing more extensive and equitable tax-based systems, or social health insurance-based systems or mixes of those. To ensure universal health coverage it will be necessary to increase the extent of prepayment and reduce the reliance on out-of-pocket payments and user fees.

This reform agenda for universal coverage is anchored on the provision of comprehensive but accessible and affordable healthcare services to all Filipinos. It focuses on expansion of coverage of the national health insurance system to include all Filipinos within the next three years and provision of effective and affordable health care services that shall be accessible to all Filipinos in private and public hospitals.

While every Filipino is entitled to healthcare as provided by the Constitution, here in the Philippines, healthcare happens to be a privilege. The majority of the Filipinos rely on the private sector for their healthcare needs, thus making these services more of a commodity rather than entitlements. The majority cannot afford such services, resulting in grim statistics: for example, an estimated 60 percent of Filipinos die without seeing a health professional. Putting a stop to these healthcare inequities would require immense political commitment from the present administration.

Universal Healthcare

Universal coverage of healthcare means that everyone in the population has access to appropriate promotive, preventive, curative and rehabilitative healthcare when they need it and at an affordable cost.1 Universal coverage thus implies equity of access and financial risk protection. It is also based on the notion of equity in financing, i.e., that people contribute on the basis of their ability to pay rather than according to whether they fall ill. This implies that a major source of health funding needs to come from prepaid and pooled contributions rather than from fees or charges levied once a person falls ill and accesses health services.2 According to the World Health Organization (WHO), universal coverage requires choices to be made in each of the three components of a health financing system:
• revenue collection: financial contributions to the health system have to be collected equitably and efficiently;

• pooling: contributions are pooled so that the costs of healthcare are shared by all and not borne by individuals at the time they fall ill (this requires a certain level of solidarity in society); and

• purchasing: the contributions are used to buy or provide appropriate and effective health interventions.
WHO further said that countries that have achieved universal coverage have developed prepayment systems that are commonly described as tax-based or social health insurance-based (SHI). In a tax-based system, general tax revenue is the main source of financing, and the available funds are used by the government to provide or purchase health services. In an SHI system, contributions come from workers, the self-employed, enterprises and government. In both, the contributions made by all contributors are pooled and services are provided only to those who need them. The financial risks associated with ill health in the population as a whole are shared by all contributors, and the pooled funds therefore perform an insurance function.

In tax-based systems, however, the insurance is implicit (in general, people do not know how much of their taxes fund health services), whereas in SHI it is explicit (in general, people know what they are paying for health). In both systems, the funds are usually used to purchase or provide services from a mix of public and private providers.
Health for all Filipinos

The country’s deteriorating healthcare situation is urgent not just for the poor themselves but for all Filipinos whose general welfare depends on the good health of all. Radical changes in various arenas of the healthcare sector are imperative in order to reverse these rends.

To make health services available, accessible and affordable, the reform agenda seeks to resuscitate the largely sluggish health sector and promote efficiency, economy of scale and effectiveness in service delivery. One of these measures is the institutionalization of reforms in the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).

In 1995, the National Health Insurance Law, which established PhilHealth, called for health insurance for all Filipinos by 2010. However it is disturbing to know that since PhilHealth was created fifteen years ago, out-of-pocket payments have shot up from 40 to 54 percent of health financing in 2007. Ironically, even the country’s national insurance program ends up devoting much of its resources reimbursing healthcare facilities and providers in the more developed and urbanized areas, while its coverage remains very low among rural and poorest areas. PhilHealth coverage according to the 2008 NDHS is lowest in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

Based on the 2006 Family Income and Expenditures Survey (FIES), about 70 percent of the population could not afford to pay for health care services due to their low income and the high cost of medical care. These are the same Filipinos that suffer from worse health outcomes because they are not able to access healthcare when they need it and where they need it. They are more likely to die without the benefit of seeing the inside of a hospital or receiving care from a medical professional. This is not surprising, given that the Philippines has a “highly resourced private sector”, where seven out of ten health practitioners are working in the private sector and servicing only 20-30 percent of the population (the same population that can afford healthcare services).

The disparity in access to and use of health care services, resources and outcomes resulted in a wide gap in the health status between the rich and poor Filipino families. This situation threatens to get even worse because of the failed public healthcare financing. Based on the national budget allocation, a Filipino taxpayer spends only about P1.10 a day for health care compared to P21.75 spent by the government on debt servicing. With the increasing cost of healthcare services, even among those with a regular income, surviving a major ailment or illness is nothing short of a miracle.

As we race to reach the Millennium Development Goals by 2015, the health sector should be prioritized by the State today. However, the government’s response remains anemic: total health expenditure only accounted for 3.8 percent of the country’s GDP (2006), well below the 5 percent standard set by the WHO for developing countries like the Philippines.

Due to increasing cost of healthcare services and the lack of appropriate social protection, illness becomes a catastrophic experience, especially for the poor Filipino families. Out-of-pocket payments for health care services are increasing in the Philippines. Of the total health spending, according to the 2007 Philippine National Health Accounts (PNHA), only 9 percent was shouldered by social health insurance, both the national government and local government shared 13 percent, other sources at 11 percent, and 54 percent came from out-of-pocket payments made by the patients. This trend spells doom for individuals and families from the lowest income groups who have no pockets to begin with.

Based on the 2008 NDHS, only 42 percent of Filipinos are covered by some form of health insurance. Although it is the dominant insurance provider, PhilHealth coverage at the national level remains low at 38 percent of the population. Coverage through the Social Security System (SSS) is 11 percent, while the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) covered about 2 percent of the population. Moreover, 2 percent of Filipinos are covered by private insurance or membership in health maintenance organizations (HMOs).

It will be impossible to achieve Universal Health Coverage without greater and more effective investment in health systems and services. Beyond these, central to attaining Universal Health Coverage are reforms to be instituted in PhilHealth.

The government must admit that PhilHealth has fallen short of its target, as health insurance barely protects 38 percent of all Filipinos (2008 NDHS). It is clear that the Social Health Insurance scheme as currently implemented by PhilHealth is not working towards the envisioned “sustainable, affordable and progressive social health insurance, which endeavors to influence the delivery of accessible quality health care for all Filipinos.”

How can reforms in the PhilHealth be done? Certainly it will begin with making sure that over 11 million Filipino families who are the poorest of the poor will be supported and covered by an allocation of P15 billion to cover their PhilHealth premium.

Such reforms must go beyond the distribution of PhilHealth cards. The overarching philosophy is that access to health care services is based on needs and not on the capability to pay. Universal Health Care should mean that every Filipino will get not merely the card, but more importantly, the affordable and appropriate quality healthcare services that are their right. Thus in the medium-term, the development of an initial package of basic health services to be made available to every Filipino given the present resources available to the health system should be implemented.

1. See the background document “Social health insurance—Sustainable health financing, universal coverage and social health insurance” to the Resolution of the Executive Board at its 115th Session (Resolution EB115.R13), http://www.who.int/health_financing

2. Technical Brief for Policy-Makers 2 on Designing Health Financing Systems to Reduce Catastrophic Health Expenditure

Visit: http://magph.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=92:achieving-universal-health-coverage

[In the news] Eye-opening health care in ARMM gives blind hope – INQUIRER.net, Philippine News for Filipinos

Eye-opening health care in ARMM gives blind hope – INQUIRER.net, Philippine News for Filipinos.

Philippine Daily Inquirer
Filed Under: Health, Philippines – Regions

A SURVIVOR of many armed hostilities in Sulu, 60-year-old Salip Minnaw Musaiya had been blind for 10 years. Her hope to see the beauty of the world again kindled when relatives informed her that an eye mission was being mounted.

The regional health secretary of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) himself, Dr. Kadil Sinolinding, performed the operation on Musaiya in Parang town two weeks ago.

The woman could not help but cry when the patch over her eye was finally removed. One by one, she saw and recognized her nephews and cousins around her.

A nephew, Army Sergeant Nur Sabdani was so grateful that he hugged Sinolinding and acting Governor Ansaruddin Adiong of the ARMM “for coming over and giving light to my aunt’s eyes.”

“You are like a speck of light in the darkness enough to give hope to the hopeless and bring happiness to the poor,” Sabdani said after the eye operation.

“My aunt had lost hope and once told me she would die without seeing my face,” Sabdani said.

Read full article at Inquirer.net

[In Facebook] Save Children’s Lives! Palawan Children Dying of Diarrhea is a form of Child Abuse!- PLM

Increase the Health Budget! Pass the RH Bill Now!
by Partido Lakas ng Masa

Universal Health Care Now! Immediate Increase in the Health Budget! Pass the RH Bill Now!

According to latest reports the death toll in the diarrhea outbreak in Palawan has risen to 23 with the epidemic spreading from Barangay Bataraza to Barangay Panalingaan. Many of those dying are children. That people, mainly children, are dying due to preventable ailments such as diarrhea is an outrage: a surreal back-to-the future scenario, except that it’s very, very, real in 21st century Philippines. The fact is that this is not an isolated incident. According to UNICEF Philippines, the UN organization mandated to work for  children’s rights, diarrhea is a leading cause of under-five deaths in the country, responsible for almost 10,000 deaths per year.

“What is even more outrageous is that this situation is allowed to continue”, said Emma Garcia from the Partido Lakas ng Masa Women’s group – PLM-Women. “Children dying like this, from easily preventable causes, is also a form of child abuse. This is also a direct result of the appalling health system in this country, where basic health services are starved of funding, lack adequate government subsidies and are therefore not accessible to the poor. We have one of the most unequal health systems in the region. If countries such as Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia can provide subsidized universal health care, why can’t the Philippine‘s government do the same”.

“We call on the government of President Aquino for action, not mere words and sweet talk. Increase the health care budget now, establish a system of universal health care, and push for the immediate passage of the RH Bill which will save mothers and childrens lives”.

Partido Lakas ng Masa – Women

7 April 2011