FORMER Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano has said the government should undertake the construction of health centers and the recruitment of additional doctors in order to improve the country’s healthcare system.
Cayetano suggested the formulation of a five- or ten-year plan that would prioritize scholarships for aspiring doctors and the establishment of more barangay health centers.
“Mag-scholar tayo ng maraming (aspiring) doktor na completely paid in the next ten years. Tapos, in the next five years, tapusin natin ang lahat ng barangay health center at equipment. Tingin ko, magbabago talaga ang mukha ng ating healthcare system,” Cayetano said.
Cayetano also lamented the lack of health centers throughout the country.
“Sa ngayon po, 18,000 barangays sa buong Pilipinas or 45 percent ng lahat ng barangay natin, walang barangay health center,” he said.
The lawmaker also expressed his disappointment over the shortage of Filipino physicians, citing the alarming doctor-population ratio in the country.
“Ang Cuba, napakaliit na bansa pero 7.5 ang doktor nila sa bawat isang libong tao. Tayo po, nasa 0.35 doctors sa isang libong tao,” he said, adding that the World Health Organization’s ideal doctor-population ratio is one doctor per 1,000 individuals.
Cayetano highlighted his home district’s major healthcare initiatives, such as the establishment of 31 PhilHealth-accredited health centers, including three super health centers, in Taguig.
Having established its own quarantine facilities, molecular laboratory, and free COVID-19 testing services, Taguig currently has one of the lowest number of active COVID-19 cases in the National Capital Region.
“Naging madali (ang COVID-19 response) kasi prepared na. So, sana ganun din gawin natin sa buong bansa,” he said.