MET Training Talking Points

Roberto Pagdanganan, President Rotary Club of Manila, Ismael Mercado, District Governor 3180, Hon. Mayor Marlyn Naguiat, Director Pascual  Areola, other distinguished officials, graduates, partners guests, ladies and gentlemen. Good Afternoon at  Mabuhay.

Let me congratulate all of you on this occasion. With this course, we hope to get all of you in synch with the numerous changes in our healthcare system. 

Healthcare is a team sport and KP goals cannot be achieved with solidarity of all health team members. As a surgeon medical equipment which functions properly saves lives.

Since London 2012 let me quote on great Olympian Carl Lewis once said “how can you lose if you have given your best.”
The Center of Excellence for PPP in Health of DOH  is proud to share with Rotray Club of Manila, Univ. of Perpetual Help a solid campaign for better maintenance of medical equipment through the development of human capital.

Thank you for the invitation. I am sure this program will definitely facilitate all our effort to achieve universal healthcare as  part of the program of Kalusugan Pangkalahatan Filipinos.

A famous doctor once told his patient: “I have been in practice for 30 years and I have prescribed many things. But in perspective, I’ve learned that for most of what ails us humans, the best medicines are only three: love, laughter and hugs.”

The patient asked,”what if it doesn’t work?”

“Just keep increasing the dosage. There are no side effects!”

Among Filipinos, healthcare has taken a backseat to politics and economics. When we implemented the devolution of healthcare in th early 1990, we stalled the continued gains of health gain in a nationalized health care. Twenty years later, we are gaining the benefits of decentralized healthcare. We understand better today that truly, healthcare to be really effective must be locally responsive and adapted to the needs of each community. This ladies and gentlemen is definite empowerment to both each family and each municipality no matter how small or how isolated it may be. When we care able to correct health inequity despite economic status or geographic difficulty whether you are in an isolated island or in a high mountain.
We have been aggressively been managing many diseases that affect us … for example diarrhea, pneumonia, flu, dengue, polio, viral infections, chronic renal disease, diabetes, hypertension, stroke, heart attacks, cancer and even birth related complications. Some of these have been eliminated through intensive preventive health programs. Others,  we are embarking on promotive health approaches to mitigate their complications, however, many diseases continue to go unchecked leading to millions of office and working hours lost each year and more productive days wasted through the years.
This is why we all need to work together with the DOH to achieve Kalusugan Pangkalahatan. To be redundant to a fault let me recite the thrusts of KP or UHC:

     1. Achieve MDGs, lower infant and child mortality, lowers maternal deaths and control TB, HIV, malaria, and other communicable disease.

     2. Achievethe goals of an effective and efficient National Health Insurance.

This year we have already achieved 85% enrollment by just focusing on the poorest and investing 12 billion pesos. This is a shift from the the old system of dole out and patronage. The disappearance of the so called charity patient begging for healthcare to whomever would provide it. True financial risk protection.  And last and third thrust, modernize our healthcare system to a more efficient one. We have been purchasing modern medical equipment, CT scans, MRIs, X-rays, ultrasounds and many others to improve access to affordable quality health care. 

Many interests now complain to me about these changes. Private hospitals complain that I am removing charity wards. Bakit kaya? Boticas in front of medical centers complain when their sales go down because of the no balance billing for quintile 1, blaming the closure of a gate to their decreased profits.

Ladies and gentlemen, let us forget the old and outdated concept that healthcare is not free. Kung may politician pa sa susunod na election that will promise free healthcare huwag na sana natin siyang iboto kasi hindi niya naiitindihan ang healthcare. Neither are doctors nurses, midwives, dentists and allied health worker are supposed to be charity workers, although they should be charitable.  We must compensate them appropriately. Universal Healthcare.  Solidarity.
While nothing beats prevention, we cannot ignore the needs of those needing urgent and even emergency care. The prohibitive cost of private health services is obviously one potent barrier for families to access care, by correcting health inequities  existing in society today that favor the rich, the powerful, the politically connected, we have denied access to care to the least of our brothers.

Solidarity at walang  is a key concept of KP. All health professionals LGU or private can take part by working more closely with the DOH and other health providers in bringing health in the mainstream of our nation’s consciousness.

However, institutions like government hospitals should be empowered to develop their own strategies unique to their situations and must be responsible for finding better solutions. The DOH today is one robust institution.
It is the time for action in making sure that we create a legacy of better health outcomes  through a longer life expectancy among Filipinos including all

Certainly, we all need to work together in solidarity to effectively build desirable health seeking  habits especially for  our children who are the hope of this province, country and region. Lifestyle and dietary changes in our own homes … in schools … in workplace and most especially in deprived areas where health suffers the worst. We need to organize strong networks that shall ensure the provision of both preventive and promotive and acute care services in all these vital links in the public health chain.
Kung hindi pa niyo alam, the country is now a middle income country. We loan the IMF but our smiles are still that of developing country or even third world. What does this mean, we have the means to take care of the health of our countrymen. Let us let go of our third world and beggar mentality. Together we can do more in improving health outcomes in a truly globally competitive country.

As our tourism department says, “more fun in the Philippines”, I tell you this can only happen if every family member or evy Filipino is happy and healthy and every mother has lower risk of death every time they deliver, and that infant has the best chance to live up to 6 years of age free from disease and death.

I’ll end my message with another quote: “life can be happier and less stressful if we remember one simple thought: we cant have all that we desire, but GOD gives us all that we deserve.”

Kalusugan pangkalahatan! One for health  health for all, health for all, one for health by working together, the future is so much brighter…

Good evening, thank you!!!

Undersecretary Teodoro Herbosa, MD FPCS FACS


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