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Health care woe: P257B needed but DOH gets only P160B

By: - Reporter / @KAguilarINQ
/ 04:17 PM September 17, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) needed P257 billion to roll out the Universal Health Care (UHC) law, but was given only P160 billion.

Health secretary Francisco Duque III told the Senate committee on finance on Tuesday, Sept. 17, that the DOH’s proposed budget for 2020 is P160 billion and asked Congress’ support to fill the gap.

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The allocation was lower than 2019’s P169 billion, said Duque.

For UHC alone, Duque said the DOH needed at least P257 billion.

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“This is something that we struggle with and we need the support of Congress to perhaps pour in the pre-requisite investments,” Duque said.

“This is for the promotion, for the treatment, the maintenance and health of the Filipino people,” he told senators.

Despite the budget lack, Duque told reporters in an ambush interview that health programs would continue like immunization, the fight against TB, HIV.

Duque said the Philippine Health Insurance Corp. (PhilHealth) needed to expand its primary care benefit provision to fit the UHC which aims to provide health services to more Filipinos.

PhilHealth has been embroiled in scandals following reports that tens of millions of health care funds had been wasted on corrupt transactions like payments for ghost health care services./tsb

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