Even though our economy expanded and showing robust growth for years yet our healthcare system continuously slipping into coma state. Health is always taken a back seat amongst the government priorities. In fact, our health budget is way below from the WHO recommendation(ideally a country should spend at least 5 percent of its GDP to health). As our government is bracing for financial constraints, the need to revive or resuscitate our crippling healthcare system is in limbo.
The enormous problem in our healthcare system seems to file up years after years and solutions seem to be futile or if not impossible to address. A classic example is the insufficient healthcare workforce which up until now is not being filled up although nurses are abound nowadays but not in the case of other healthcare professionals such as doctors, medical technologists, respiratory therapist, physical therapists , dietitians, and to name a few. Another example is the lacking of much needed facilities or supplies in our public hospitals where medicines, beds, syringes, needles, cottons are scarce. Even X-ray, ultrasound and other machines are in beyond repair state or necessitates replacement . And also the hospital building/s that needs renovation and expansion to cater the increasing clients.
On the other hand, the government gives little or no importance to medical or scientific researches that can be of great help in helping curb the morbidity and mortality rates in our country. It may sound too pessimistic but that is reality. Even if we are abound with so many talented doctors and other healthcare professionals unfortunately we are losing them as they are busy looking for greener pasture. The inadequate support of government to these professionals force them desperately and they are easily lured to go abroad where their expertise are highly valued ( financially and professionally).
Our healthcare system is also plagued with the century-old corruption problem. The corruption that lingers the bureaucracy is a double whammy to an already deprived healthcare system. Instead of looking for the welfare of the whole, these corrupt and selfish government officials are diverting the health money for their personal and political gains.The poor are the ones being explicitly exploited as they line in queues to beg for help. Some greedy and unjust politicians are requiring them of “signed endorsement” from their local political leaders in order to get a monetary assistance. Without the endorsement expect for no help. The system is in constant abused.
Furthermore, it is interesting to note and to hope that our government is pursuing a universal healthcare program that will surely benefit the poor and under serving Filipinos. It may be a costly and ambitious plan by the government but indeed it is laudable. But we need not only coverage but a more responsive and updated healthcare benefits not merely for those in sick but also for all citizenry. The government should pursue a preventive approach not just curative or rehabilitative.
The government should be serious enough to address and arrest the impending death of our healthcare system. Enough for a short term and band-aid solutions, we need a long -term and doable solutions to rescue our dying healthcare system.
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