Fishers group backs health sectors P243-B proposed budget

THE fisherfolk group is supporting the proposal of health groups Health Alliance for Democracy (HEAD) and Alliance of Health Workers (AHW) to increase the budget for health services by more than 500 percent from P 42.76 billion this year to P 243 billion in 2013 to effectively address the needs of 94 million Filipinos.

Leaders of the groups said of the P 243 billion proposed budget P100 billion will be allocated for primary health that will include improvement of hospital equipment and enough supply of medicines in pharmacies of government hospitals.

The P 100- B budget will also be used to support  72 public hospitals being run by the Department of Health (DoH) including  4 specialty hospitals, 8 special hospitals, 2 research hospitals, 22 medical centers, 18 regional hospitals, 6 district hospitals and 4 extension hospitals.

The groups said the support and development of 595 devolved hospitals will also be sourced from the P 100- B budget health care as proposed by HEAD and AHW.

The progressive health groups said P 70 billion will be allocated for health human resource maintenance and development while P 20-B will be earmarked for the implementation of the Nursing Act of 1992 and the Magna Carta for Public Health Workers.

Aaround P 25 B will be spent for salary increases of doctors, nurses and public health workers.

The AHW and HEAD health alliances stressed that doctor’s salary should be raised by P 50,000 per month, nurses by P 24, 887 per month and minimum pay of health workers should be hiked by P 6,000 per month.

The Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) agreed with HEAD and AHW to allocate an additional P 25- B for the salaries of additional 3,000 new doctors, 8,000 new nurses and other public health workers from regional down to municipal government hospitals, including barangay health workers.

It said the P 243 B proposed budget of health groups will enable the DoH to mobilize health personnel for 81 provinces, 118 cities, 1,510 municipalities and 42,000 barangays.

The proposal of AHW and HEAD for relevant and pro-people health care include P 73.5 billion, of which P 14 billion will be used for the promotion of rational drug policy, P 14 billion for reproductive health, P 14 billion to combat infectious diseases,  P 6 billion for health research, P 6 billion for dental and oral health care, P 6 billion for nutritional program, P 7.5 billion for the promotion of other primary health care and P 5 more billion for the institutional and other important needs of the Philippine General Hospital (PGH).

“We throw our support to the pro-people budget prepared by our colleagues and allies in HEAD and AHW. Being regular clients of these health groups, we are very confident the alternative health budget drafted and proposed by these groups for legislative action will gather the collective support of the people as far as health care is concerned,” the Pamalakaya official said.

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