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Friday, October 23, 2009

If government has money to pay for medical advisories, print ads, it must have more funds for disease outbreaks

October 15, 2009
Reference : Dr. Julie Caguiat
SOS Spokesperson

Samahang Operasyong Sagip SOS urges the government to decisively act on the surging number of patients infected by leptospirosis and other potential outbreaks looming in areas affected by massive flooding.

The group was referring to the more the 700 cases of leptospirosis, 39 of which already lead to fatalities in Marikina, Pasig and other areas most hit by the flooding during the onslaught of typhoon Ondoy. There are also other water borne diseases like cholera, typhoid, influenza A H1N1, which can all potentially lead to some outbreak, especially when a lot of areas remain flooded and some have not been extended any kind of government assistance at all.

While the DOH has already directed some hospitals to freely serve patients with the said diseases, there were already reported cases of patients denied admission in some government hospitals.

“These are extraordinary moments which require extra-ordinary decisions by the government. Most of the disaster affected communities are urban poor families who have no means to pay the medical services at this point,” stresses Dr. Julie Caguiat, SOS spokesperson.

The government should at this point provide free medicines, set up emergency units and additional beds in public hospitals, and conduct massive health education campaign at the community level.

The government has been inept at a time when it is most needed to take a crucial role. In fact, it has mostly limited itself to a slew of costly medical advisories. The advertising cost could have just directly utilized to in purchase the medicines and other needs being requested.

When DOH can pay for print and television ads and pay for high profile press conferences, then it must have more funds to address these outbreaks.###

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