SENATOR and Chair of the Senate Committee on Health Christopher “Bong” Go lauded President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. for directing the Department of Health to prioritize the fight against tuberculosis and human immunodeficiency virus infections in addition to COVID-19.
“It is important to continue the fight against HIV and TB infections, even as we focus on the ongoing battle against COVID-19. These infections can have serious consequences for individuals and communities, and addressing them is crucial for the overall health and well-being of our population,” said Go.
“By making the campaign against HIV and TB infections a priority, we can ensure that the necessary resources are allocated to prevent and treat these conditions, and protect vulnerable individuals from their devastating effects,” he added.
Marcos earlier ordered the DOH to “refocus again on public health concerns”, including the fight against HIV and TB infections, alongside the campaign against COVID-19.
Meanwhile, a survey carried out by independent research group OCTA Research revealed that at least 70% of adult Filipinos are pleased with the performance of the current administration’s programs that are related to health care.
Results from the Tugon ng Masa survey conducted from October 23 to October 27, 2022 show that 73% of the respondents are satisfied with the high quality and reasonable cost of health care in the country.
“Habang tayo po ay bumabangon mula sa epekto ng COVID-19, sang-ayon po ako kay Pangulong Marcos na dapat na rin nating pagtuunan ng pansin ang iba pang public health threats na maaaring makaapekto sa ating mga mamamayan maliban sa pandemya,” reiterated Go.
“We must start to prioritize general public health to promote the overall health and well-being of the Filipino people. We must ensure our preparedness for potential health threats and take preventative steps to protect them from these threats,” he added.
Meanwhile, consistent with his advocacy to improve the country’s healthcare system, Go filed several health-related measures, including Senate Bill No. 189 which seeks to provide free annual medical check-up for all Filipinos.
Other health-related measures also make up the bulk of Go’s priority bills filed in the 19th Congress. These include SBN 190 which mandates the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation to fully cover all costs of dialysis treatments, sessions and procedures done in health facilities accredited by PhilHealth; SBN 195 and 196 which aim to establish the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Virology Institute of the Philippines respectively; SBN 191 or the Advanced Nursing Education Bill; SBN 421 establishing an Emergency Medical Services System; SBN 427 providing benefits and compensation to Barangay Health Workers; and SBN 428 which seeks to establish Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Centers nationwide.
“It is our job in the government to ensure that everyone has access to high-quality, affordable healthcare. A strong healthcare system can help to prevent and control the spread of diseases, and it can also play a key role in promoting public health and reducing healthcare disparities,” said Go.
“It can also help to support economic growth and development by enabling individuals to live healthier, more productive lives. Ultimately, strengthening our healthcare system is essential for the overall health and well-being of our society,” he concluded.