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The Department of Health 2013 budget promises better health for all Filipinos.

Health Secretary Enrique T. Ona today revealed that the 2013 proposed budget of P 54.6 billion for the Department of Health (DOH) and its attached agencies will further bolster the Aquino administration’s integrated economic and development framework, which centers on poverty reduction and empowerment of the poor and vulnerable. This proposed budget is about 25% higher than what was approved in 2012.

The DOH’s KalusuganPangkalahatan(KP) or Universal Health Care (UHC) program is a vital component of this integrated anti-poverty framework, which includes the PantawidPamilyang Pilipino Program(4Ps), education and housing. KP’s initial focus on the poorest 5.2 million families identified by the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction (NHTS-PR) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development will maximize health gains for those wh

o are most vulnerable.

“It is imperative for us to support the proposed DOH 2013 budget in order to build on the health gains of 2010-2012 and continue the direct, immediate, and substantial health benefits for our people, especially the poor,” Health Secretary Enrique T. Ona said during the presentation made before the Senate Committee on Finance, headed by Senator Franklin Drilon.

The proposed 2013 budget of P 54.6 billion for health includes P 39.5 billion for the Office of the Secretary;P 304.5 million for the Commission on Population; P 327 million for the National Nutrition Council; P 13.5 billion for the Health Facilities Enhancement Program, lodged under the Priority Social and Economic Projects Fund; P 908 million for the specialty hospitals; and P 40 million for the Philippine Institute for Traditional and Alternative Health Care.

About 69% of the proposed 2013 budget will finance priority programs, activities, and projects in support of KP. These priority programs, activities, and projects were as follows:

  1. Subsidy for Health Insurance Premium payment of indigent families to the National Health    Insurance Program
  2. Health Facilities Enhancement Program
  3. Implementation of the Doctors to the Barrios and Rural Health Practice Program
  4. Family Health including Responsible Parenting
  5. Expanded Program on Immunization
  6. National Pharmaceutical Policy Development including provision of drugs and medicines, medical and dental supplies to make affordable quality drugs available
  7. Tuberculosis Control
  8. Elimination of diseases as public health threats such as malaria, schistosomiasis, leprosy and filariasis
  9. Other infectious diseases and emerging diseases including HIV/AIDS, dengue, food and water-borne disease
    1. Rabies Control Program

Under the proposed 2013 budget, the subsidy for health insurance premium, amounting to P 12.6 billion, will ensure the enrollment of 5.2 million indigent families to the Philippine Health Insurance System (PhilHealth).P 13.5 billion underthe Health Facilities Enhancement Program will be used to upgrade and modernize selected barangay health stations, rural health units, district, provincial and DOH-retained hospitals. P 2.8 billion is allocated to the Doctors to the Barrios and Rural Health Practice Program for thedeployment of 22,500 batch 4 RN HEALS (Registered Nurses for Health Enhancement and Local Service) and midwives to Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) areas, as well as 221 medical doctors to doctor-less municipalities.

P 1 billion under the National Pharmaceutical Policy Development (including provision of drugs) will provide Complete Treatment Packages to 1,395 rural health units and 160 district hospitals in 4Ps municipalities.

The proposed budget for Expanded Program on Immunization is P 1.9 billion for the full vaccination coverage of eligible children 0-11 months for BCG (Bacillus CalmetteGuarine), DPT (Diptheria Pertussis Tetanus), OPV (Oral Polio Vaccine), Hepatitis B, Measles, Tetanus Toxoid, Measles-Rubella, pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, and rotavirus. The cost of vaccines for indigent senior citizens (pneumococcal and influenza) is included under the Family Health and Responsible Parenting program.

The proposed budget for infectious diseases program include the procurement of anti-TB drugs, anti-malarial drugs, anti-rabies vaccines, diagnostic kits, and insecticide-treated beds, among others.

“The proposed 2013 budget will put us closer to achieving our Millennium Development Goals and strengthen the Aquino administration’s promise of universal health care for all Filipinos,” Ona said.

Even with the steady and substantial increase in the health budget, Ona asked the Senate to ensure the sustainability of KP by passing two critical pieces of legislation, namely, the tobacco and alcohol excise tax reform bill and the reproductive health (RH) bill.

“Reforming the excise tax structure on alcohol and tobacco will discourage the consumption of tobacco and alcohol products, especially among the young and the poor. At the same time, the additional revenues earmarked for health will substantially improve how health care is being delivered in our country. The RH bill, when enacted, will contribute in improving maternal and child health,” Ona concluded.

The proposed budget includes the controversial RN Heals.  P 2.8 billion is allocated to the Doctors to the Barrios and Rural Health Practice Program for the deployment of 22,500 batch 4 RN HEALS (Registered Nurses for Health Enhancement and Local Service) and midwives to Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) areas, as well as 221 medical doctors to doctor-less municipalities.

This RN HEALS is a DOH project which gives temporary job for nurses. Now, it is confirmed that there will be a next batch for this RN HEALS. But still no announcement yet when they will start accepting applicants for batch 4.

Source: DOH Facebook Page