Health workers and advocates are challenging President Duterte to have himself checked in a government hospital.

After figuring in a motorcycle accident, President Rodrigo Duterte is being challenged by health workers and advocates to seek medical help in a government hospital.

This is so he can see for himself what they call a health care system crisis amid problems in public hospitals as well as resurgence of various diseases.

 “Kailangan harapin na may nagaganap hindi lamang krisis sa transportasyon sa kasalukuyan, meron ding krisis sa usapin ng kalusugan,” Health Alliance for Democracy president Albert Pascual said.

Kahit si President Duterte magpa-admit sa Jose Reyes [Memorial Medical Center]. Tingnan natin kung kayang kaya niya yung pasilidad.  Orthopedic kasi sumemplang siya sa motor no. Tingnan natin kung kaya nya bang tumagal,” Alliance of Health Workers president Robert Mendoza said.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III however said the situation is far from crisis levels but he admitted there are problems in the health care industry and these are being addressed by the government.

Health groups note the resurgence of otherwise forgotten diseases such as polio, dengue and measles; lack of supplies, equipment and health care professionals in government hospitals and the huge budget cut in the country’s premier public hospital, the Philippine General Hospital (PGH)

 “Dapat ibigay ang halos P10 billion budget sa PGH dahil ito ang gusto namin para pandagdag sa mga additional plantilla,” All-UP Workers Union-Manila president Eliseo Estropigan said.

Like Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo who accepted the challenge to commute to experience the alleged transport crisis, Duque said he is open to the challenge of health advocates.

Duque also said the newly passed Universal Health Care law will address health issues, but health advocates doubt this as funding for the law seems to be problematic as well. (Jasper Camilo)