Photo Release

September 11, 2017

ZUBIRI SUPPORTS INCREASE DOH BUDGET: Senator Juan Miguel F. Zubiri stressed he will support increasing the P53.2 Billion Department of Health (DOH) budget wherein P39 B for Public Health Facilities Enhancement Program as proposed by the DOH was reduced to P29 B. The P10 B cut will affect all health system levels from barangay health clinics, rural health stations, poly-clinics, hospitals, blood centers and the program to build specialty hospitals in the regions, as advocated by the senator. The DOH had already identified eight priority specialty hospitals for heart, lung and kidney nationwide, consisting of the following: Southern Philippines Medical Center (operational since 2007); Northern Mindanao Medical Center (to be established yet); Central Visayas Medical Center and Western Visayas Medical Center (both operational); and four in Luzon outside of Metro Manila. Experts at the Philippine Heart Center, Lung Center of the Philippines and the National Kidney and Transplant Institute are training doctors in the regional hospitals for deployment in the specialty hospitals nationwide. Likewise, Sen. Zubiri took note of the Health Development Plan targets to establish one health station per barangay, one rural health station per 20,000 persons and one poly-clinic per 50,000 persons towards one hospital bed per 800 persons. As chairman of the Congressional Oversight Committee on Quality Affordable Medicine (COCQAM), Sen. Zubiri said he will hear the Drug Price Regulations Bill soon noting the DOH information that drug prices in the Philippines are 7000 times more expensive than the price of equivalent drugs in Thailand. The COCQAM will work to reduce prices of specialty drugs not covered by the Generic Drugs Act for cancer, hypertension and heart ailments, among others, through the adoption of maximum retail price standards. Finally, Sen. Zubiri reminded the DOH and attached agencies that the Expanded Anti-Red Tape Act covers them. Hence, they are liable for delays in rendering services to constituents.