Fund hospitals, health workers’ benefits instead of lending to IMF

STATE health workers lashed at the Aquino Government for prioritizing the International Monetary Fund over people’s health and lives and health workers’ benefits.

“Poor patients are dying because of inadequate medicines and services from poorly funded public hospitals. Health workers are demoralized with decreased and delayed benefits.  But instead of allotting adequate fund for public health services, the government would rather privatize public hospitals and lend money to IMF. How callous and insensitive the Aquino government can be?” said Jossel Ebesate, national president of Alliance of Health Workers.

Ebesate claimed that most public hospitals hiked the rates of diagnostic and laboratory procedures due to inadequate government fund for Maintenance and Other Operating Expenses. Even the DOH  said that maternal mortality rate is up to 221/100,000 live birth. This is an indication of the inadequacy of mothers to access public health facilities.

The unfunded Magna Carta benefits result to the 6-month delay of their hazard pay worth P2,000-8,000 per month. Public hospitals are pushed to generate income and savings to augment the inadequate government subsidy, Ebesate said.

For 2012, health gets P42B from the national budget and Php11.528B of this is allotted for privatization (Public-Private Partnership) and Philhealth.This amount is only 0.43% of the 2011 Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

The World Health Organization prescribes at least 5% of GDP or P487B for health expenditure.

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