Ray Reyes

Ensure pregnant women’s access to medical services

May 15, 2023 Jester P. Manalastas 287 views

A lawmaker is urging the national government to ensure that there is enough medical access for pregnant Filipino women.

Anakalusugan Party-list Representative Ray Reyes made the call after after United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Philippines noted that around six to seven Filipino women die during pregnancy and childbirth due to lack of access to health services.

“Kailangang maglaan pa tayo ng mas maraming resources para masigurong may sapat at madaling access sa health services ang mga kababaihan sa kanilang pagdadalang-tao at panganganak,” Reyes said.

During emergencies, when access to maternal health services is disrupted, more women die during pregnancy and childbirth. Women die because sexual and reproductive health services are unavailable, inaccessible, unaffordable, or of poor quality, the UNFPA said in a statement.

The statement was based on Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data, which showed that 2,478 women died of maternal causes in 2021, up from 1,458 in 2019.

The UNFPA also noted that 14 percent of pregnant women do not get regular check-ups and the other necessary medical care needed during pregnancy, and that one in ten women do not give birth in health facilities or receive assistance from skilled healthcare personnel during childbirth.

Reyes highlighted the need to bring health services to the people, particularly in rural areas.

“Dehado ang mga kababaihan sa mga geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas (GIDAs) dahil mas malaki ang kailangan nilang gastusin para makakuha ng health services,” the lawmaker said.

“Kaya mahalaga na inilalapit natin ang serbisyo sa kanila. Ito ang paulit-ulit na panawagan natin sa AnaKalusugan. We have to prioritize public health and help our people cope with the costs that health services entail,” Reyes added.