Healthcare under a Duterte presidency
Millions were overjoyed by the landslide victory of Davao City mayor Rodrigo Duterte in the recent presidential elections. It is hoped that his administration will bring about positive changes in terms of inclusive economic growth and better peace and order. This being a wellness and lifestyle blog, I’d like to dwell a bit on how healthcare in the Philippines might fare under a Duterte presidency. Here are some things to mull over:
In the public sector
In his campaign sorties, the presumptive President of the Philippines mentioned creating hospital facilities for indigents. It sounds a bit vague, and I can’t seem to find any article that can shed light on how he plans to actualize this, but the mayor is reputed to have enough political will to see plans through. His hometown of Davao City, for instance, is well-known for its Central Communications and Emergency Response Center. Just call 911 if you need emergency healthcare, fire, or police services. No other city in the country has as good an emergency response team as Davao City.
* Update: The May 17, 2016 editorial of the Philippine Daily Inquirer mentions a few more pronouncements on public health from the camp of Rody Duterte. Among other things, he is going to push for a nationwide ban on liquor and smoking. The sale of liquor will be banned in public places starting at 2 a.m. Smoking, meanwhile, will be limited only to designated areas. Mr. Duterte also said that he would “insist on family planning.” This presumably means effective implementation of the RH Law.
Alan Peter Cayetano
During one of his campaign sorties last month, Duterte’s running mate Senator Alan Peter Cayetano mentioned the need to have lung, kidney, and heart centers in the Visayas and Mindanao regions. The Philippines only has these types of centers in Metro Manila, making it especially tough for poor folks to obtain proper medical treatment. Senator Cayetano aims to meet this need by building such centers in regions where they are also needed.
I first heard about super barangay health centers during the bloggers’ lunch I attended with the former congresswoman and soon-to-be senator last month. Ms. Risa Hontiveros says that while she fully supports Senator Cayetano’s vision of having lung, kidney, and heart centers in places other than the capital, she’d like to focus first on health in the primary level. Her vision is to have super barangay health centers in every barrio. Each of these centers will have in-patient facilities, laboratory units, a birthing room, and a physician, hence the term “super.”
In the private sector
Ayala Corp. is expanding its healthcare portfolio with ventures like FamilyDoc, a line of community-based clinics. Each clinic has five staff, X-ray and ultrasound machines, and first-aid response equipment. There are only two such clinics so far, but they’ll put up more if these clinics prove to be successful.
Maria Health is a start-up that aims to be a one-stop shop for individuals, families, and small businesses looking for quality and affordable health insurance. This is a very relevant venture because most huge HMOs don’t usually offer coverage for small enterprises. They’re not operational yet but they’re about to launch here real soon!
I don’t know about you, but I really like all these plans and developments. I hope that they come into fruition soon. Filipinos both need and deserve these facilities and services.
What other healthcare developments in the Philippines do you know of? Will healthcare continue to thrive in the next administration? What healthcare challenge does your country face? Do share!
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Disclosure: I’ve written a few articles for Maria Health. This, however, is not a sponsored post. Read my blog’s full disclosure and disclaimer here.
Photo from flickr user Keith Bacongco.
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