COMMUNITY EMPOWERMENT FOR HEALTH THROUGH PHILIPPINE INTEGRATIVE MEDICINE WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF ALTERNATIVE HEALTH CARE SYSTEMS DEVELOPMENT (Training and Advocacy Component)
I. CONTEXT NATIONAL HEALTH SITUATION
In 2010, Dr Esperanza Cabral was appointed by President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as the new Health Secretary from January to June 2010. During Cabral’s term she championed the memorandum on prohibition of smoking on government agencies, hospitals, health centers, schools and public places. Secretary Cabral also supported the phase-out of mercury containing devices such as thermometers and sphygmomanometers in all health care facilities and encouraged all government and private hospitals to eliminate the use of mercurial thermometers and sphygmomanometers due to its hazardous effects to health and the environment especially when broken. The administrative order was signed by the former Health Secretary Francisco Duque III. In May 2010, Benigno Simeon Aquino III was elected as President of the Republic of the Philippines. During his state of the nation address, he mentioned that the plan for universal coverage of the Philippine Health Insurance (PhilHealth) for the Filipinos shall take place by identifying the number of Filipinos who are in need of health insurance. The Department of Social Welfare and Development shall initiate the National Household Targeting System to identify those who are in need of support and health care. Around 9 billion pesos is needed to ensure full health insurance coverage of approximately 5 million poor Filipinos. The newly appointed Health Secretary Enrique Ona is also prioritizing the implementation of the 100% health insurance coverage for the Filipinos during his term. In December 2010, Health Secretary Enrique Ona signed the Administrative Order 2010-0036 entitled, the Aquino Health Agenda: Achieving Universal Health Care for All Filipinos. The overall goal of the Universal Health Care is to ensure the achievement of the health system goals of better health outcomes, sustained health financing and responsive health system by ensuring that all Filipinos, especially the disadvantaged group in the spirit of solidarity, have equitable access to affordable health care. The Universal Health Care is an approach that seeks to improve, streamline and scale up the reform strategies in Health Sector Reform Agenda (HSRA) and Fourmula One in order to address inequities in health outcomes by ensuring that all Filipinos, especially those belonging to the lowest two income quintiles, have equitable access to quality health care. It shall also strengthen the National Health Insurance Program (NHIP) as the prime mover in improving financial risk protection, generating resources to modernize and sustain health facilities, and improve the provision of public health services to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
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