Gordon: DOH should use current funds for Dengvaxia patients
After the Senate failed to pass the bill allocating a P1.161 billion budget for Dengvaxia vaccinees, Senator Richard Gordon advised the Department of Health (DOH) to use its current resources to assist around 900,000 children vaccinated with the controversial vaccine.
Gordon, chair of the Senate blue ribbon committee that led the probe into the Dengvaxia mess, admitted to “being a bit disappointed” that the bill, which President Rodrigo Duterte certified as urgent, was not passed before the Senate adjourned.
However, he pointed out that the DOH could take steps to ensure that the recipients would receive assistance without delay.
“Dapat ang DOH at ang PhilHealth, magtulungan para magamit na ang tulong sa mga naturukan ng Dengvaxia. Hindi nangangahulugan na ibibinbin na naman natin ang pagtulong sa tao. Meron namang emergency fund ang DOH na pwedeng gamitin pansamantala. Hindi naman ganoon kalaki ang magagamit dahil hindi naman kailangang lahat ng naineksyunan e eeksaminin agad,” he said in a statement on Monday.
House appropriations chairperson Rep. Karlo Nograles also advised the same last Thursday so that the DOH could start its profiling and monitoring the Dengvaxia vaccinees.
The senator also suggested that while the fund could not be withdrawn from the National Treasury pending the passage of the measure, the DOH could already make a masterlist of all the recipients of the vaccine and upload it on a computer that could be accessed by hospitals, both public and private.
Gordon also reminded hospitals to boost their Dengue response mechanisms to ensure the health of Dengue patients.
“Dapat OA kayo ng konti sa mga ospital na talagang tsetsekin niyo pag naturukan para mabigyan agad nung mga kailangang fluids, platelets o kailangang salinan ng dugo para siguradong mailigtas yung bata. Pag binigay sa ospital ang listahan pag may pumunta dun na bata, makikita kaagad kung nasa listahan. Kung nasa listahan, yun ang bibigyan ng prayoridad sa pondo. Pero kahit wala sa listahan, bibigyan pa din ng prayoridad kung dengue kasi di makikita agad kung dengue,” he said.
Last Tuesday, the House of Representatives unanimously approved House Bill 7449 which would allocate some P1.161 Billion in additional funds for the DOH to assist Dengvaxia vaccinees.
But the Senate failed to pass the said budget on final reading due to lack of quorum early Thursday. /vvp
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