GOV’T PRIORITIZES VITAL HEALTH SERVICES IN 2015 BUDGET
As part of the government’s commitment to provide accessible and sufficient healthcare services throughout the country, Senator Teofisto “TG” Guingona III, Chair of the Senate Committee on Health and Demography, said in the 2015 national budget, the Department of Health and its attached agencies will get P90.21 billion allocation to carry out projects and programs that will benefit the Filipinos.
The Congress, however, is still looking to augment the health budget to incorporate programs that will be funded by sin tax budget collection.
The unrelenting pursuit of the administration for reforms to improve transparency and accountability in public institutions bring forth economic gains that adequately fund the basic health needs of the society, said Guingona.
Out of the P90.21 DOH budget for 2015, P37.06 billion will be for the payment of the full health insurance premium of the following: a) indigent families under the National Household Targeting System for Poverty Reduction of the DSWD; b) Poor and low-income enrolees, other than indigent families identified by DSWD; c) Indigent barangay officials; and d) senior citizens as mandated by the newly-signed law, Republic Act 10645 which mandates automatic Philhealth coverage of senior citizens throughout the country.
Sen. Guingona noted that P1 billion will be allocated to the Philippine Children’s Medical Center to ensure the structural integrity of its facilities and to improve the delivery of services to children needing special health care.
To address the need for additional medical personnel in government health institutions, the 2015 budget will fund P4.3 billion to hire 398 doctors, 13,500 nurses, 2,700 midwives and 480 dentists vital for the government’s goal to achieve better health services in both urban and rural areas.
A total of P129.03 million is allocated to fund the payment of Philhealth premiums of former rebels identified under the PAMANA and the Sajahatra Bangsamoro programs of the government.
The Health Facilities Enhancement Program (HFEP) will get P13.1 billion where P10.337 billion will be allotted for the construction, rehabilitation and upgrading of 1,660 barangay health stations, 475 rural health units and city health centers, 168 local government unit hospitals, 66 hospitals under DOH and 11 treatment and rehabilitation centers. Some P2.771 billion will be allocated for the procurement of quality hospital equipment.
The 2015 budget will also fund an additional P500 million for the Quick Response Fund, a standby fund to be used for the repair and rehabilitation of health facilities and equipment, as well as provision of emergency medical assistance in areas stricken by calamities, epidemics and catastrophes. /MP