Bongbong Marcos' admin to face at least 3 ‘major’ health challenges — Duque | Inquirer News

Bongbong Marcos’ admin to face at least 3 ‘major’ health challenges — Duque

/ 12:19 PM June 08, 2022

MANILA, Philippines — The administration of President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. will face at least three “major” health challenges, outgoing Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said.

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“The DOH (Department of Health) is very much ready to present the transition plan… At least there are three major challenges that the next administration ought to pursue after the Duterte administration comes to an end,” Duque said during Wednesday’s Kapihan sa Manila Bay forum.

Among these challenges include “building on the gains” of the Duterte administration in terms of its pandemic response, said the health secretary.

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Duque noted the Philippines’ increased ranking in Nikkei Asia’s latest COVID-19 Recovery Index, where the country climbed to the 33rd spot among 120 nations.

However, the health chief admitted that the country is still “struggling” with its vaccine booster coverage which, he said, would be another challenge the next administration has to address.

“I will be the first one to admit that we’re struggling with the booster. But we have not given up, and the next administration will see the wisdom of what we have done in DOH, particularly in improving access to the booster dose for our people,” Duque said.

“We’ve practically expanded access to our vaccines for booster coverage, I think this is one of the challenges the next administration must address and pursue,” he added.

Further, Duque said the incoming government should also expand the country’s primary care services, which he described as “inadequate.”

“The next challenge, yung universal healthcare. In particular yung pagpapalawig ng [expanding] primary care services,” he said.

“Yun ang weakness ng [That the weakness of] Philippine healthcare system, inadequate primary care services,” he added.

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Next DOH chief

The President-elect has yet to appoint the next DOH secretary, but Duque said he has been “hearing names” of his potential successor.

“They’re all good. I know all of them and I think they’re all qualified,” he said.

“They had quite a track record of public service,” he added but opted not to disclose these names.

RELATED STORY:

Duque plans return to teaching after DOH term

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For more news about the novel coronavirus click here.
What you need to know about Coronavirus.
For more information on COVID-19, call the DOH Hotline: (02) 86517800 local 1149/1150.

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TAGS: coronavirus pandemic, COVID-19 response, health challenges, Health Secretary Francisco Duque III, Marcos administration
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