Olongapo SubicBay BatangGapo Newscenter

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Gordon: Improve health care system to strengthen RP's defense against diseases

Senator Richard J. Gordon today said that improving the public health care system will strengthen the country's defense against diseases, especially after the World Health Organization declared a global pandemic of Influenza A(H1N1) and the Department of Health (DOH) confirming a community outbreak in a village in Jaen, Nueva Ecija.

"We always have to be ready with or without a pandemic. Aside from the A(H1N1) flu, there are other diseases which we have to fight with. It is always best that the public and the country's health care system are both prepared," he said.

Gordon, chairman of the Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC), pointed out that it is also important to strengthen the health care systems in public schools nationwide to ensure the safety of students and to improve their health and welfare.

"We must realize how vulnerable our children are, especially when they are out of home because they are exposed to more danger and possible sicknesses. It is important that schools have clinics that are not only fully-equipped but also manned by a sufficient number of competent doctors, dentists and nurses," he said.

Gordon, chairman of the Senate committee on government corporations and public enterprises, has proposed a measure, Senate Bill 2402, that aims to improve the country's public education and health care systems.

Under SB 2402, a Health and Education Acceleration Program (HEAP) Corporation will be established to manage funds that would be remitted by telecommunications companies from a portion of their net revenues from text messages, which reportedly reach two billion daily. The funds would be used to fill the gap in the country's health care and education requirements.

"Once this bill is enacted into law, we will be able to build and upgrade school clinics, provide for regular vaccination and dental check-up programs, and establish feeding programs in public schools nationwide. We will also be able to hire enough doctors, nurses and dentists who would look after the health needs of students," Gordon said.

Furthermore, as part of his active campaign for the development of the country's health system, Gordon also called for the establishment of a Philippine General Hospital (PGH) in every region in the country to allow people in the provinces to receive quality medical attention without having to travel all the way to Manila.

"All Filipinos are entitled to the same quality of medical attention. People in the provinces are disadvantaged because they have to travel all the way to Manila to seek quality medical attention," he said.


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