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Arroyo seeks additional P10B for gov’t hospitals, health workers

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Arroyo seeks additional P10B for gov’t hospitals, health workers

By JOHN CARLO M. CAHINHINAN

House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has asked the bicameral committee tackling the proposed 2019 national budget to increase the allocation for the Department of Health by P10 billion to improve health facilities and to retain more health personnel in the country.

Arroyo said she personally instructed Bicameral Conference co-chairman and Committee on Appropriations chair Rolando Andaya Jr. (Camarines Sur) to put an additional P5 billion for the Health Facilities Program to upgrade government hospitals and Barangay health centers.

She also urged the bicam panel to allocate additional P5 billion to the Health Human Resources Development to prevent the reported mass layoff of some 6,000 health personnel including doctors, nurses and dentists in government health facilities.

The House leader stressed that the DOH needs all the funding support it could get especially in the light of the passage of the Universal Health Care Law.

“There should be consistent support to our health sector because DOH plays a very crucial and frontline role and in the neverending need for sufficient and timely healthcare especially in our poor communities,” she said.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque had earlier requested for more funding to complete over 1,000 health facilities all over the country.

The Bicam is set to resume its budget deliberations at the Manila Polo Club this Monday.