Answers

2016-01-14T22:03:27+08:00
1. Improve hospitals and health facilities. This is the most basic problem we need to address. If we lack the facilities, the machines, and the medicines, how can we treat our people? To improve this, we not only need to increase the budget of these hospitals; we should also look for capable and visionary hospital directors who will know what to do with the additional money given to the hospital. The hospital director should know how to manage the hospital efficiently, raise funds, and go into public-private partnerships to quickly upgrade the hospital’s capabilities. He/she should know how to work inside the government bureaucracy and be savvy in the political issues in his or her area.2. Employ more health workers (doctors, nurses, and midwives). We have a surplus of around 200,000 nurses in the country. And yet, we lack the funds to employ the needed health workers in our health facilities. For example, the RN Heals project only asks “volunteer nurses” to help the government in exchange for an allowance. There are pending legislations to increase the budget of health workers. Moreover, we should ensure their safety in their areas of work. Both hospital improvement and employing the necessary health workers go hand in hand.  3. Increase PhilHealth enrollment and improve PhilHealth benefits. This is the flagship program of the Aquino Health Agenda (AHA), which is also called Universal Health Care (Kalusugan Pangkalahatan).The key strategy is to enroll the poorest 10 million families into PhilHealth. This is roughly 50 million Filipinos, half the population, which are earning roughly less than P6,000 a month per family. Indeed, the ugly truth is that half of our people live in poverty. If we can get the necessary funds to enroll these poor Filipinos, then they will at least be partially covered in their hospital expenses. But aside from giving out PhilHealth cards (which is the easy part), the more difficult issues are 1) increasing the public’s awareness on how to use the card and 2) giving substantial health benefits for indigent patients. To know the real state of PhilHealth coverage in the country, one can ask around any government hospital and ask how many of their charity patients are using PhilHealth. And this percentage (still low) will show us how far we are from giving adequate care to our people.4. Reduce maternal and infant deaths. The Philippines has a high rate of mothers and infants dying. Experts say that the government will find it difficult to attain the Millennium Development Goal for reducing maternal mortality. The current rate is 152 mothers dying per 100,000 live births, and the target is to reduce this number down to 50 mothers dying per 100,000 live births by 2015, which is unlikely to be achieved.
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