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Duterte's first year: Philippine health agenda 'a sham'

Even without any legal basis, government hospitals like Quirino Memorial Medical Center, Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center, and Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center and Corazon Locsin Montelibano Medical Center have increased fees making medical services unaffordable for the poor. Aside from this, DOH also confirmed the sale of National Center for Mental Health (NCMH)/Welfareville and its planned transfer to Rosario, Cavite. The modernization of Philippine Orthopedic Center also lacks funding. The budget for the maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) of public hospitals remains inadequate. With this, patients will be charged of higher hospital, laboratory, and other fees. The plan to transfer and to eventually corporatize Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital is expected to deprive poor patients of affordable women, maternal and child health care. The call to improve present structures and develop facilities with government funding continues. Although President Duterte promised to modernize the Fabella hospital, no written policies have been made. Existing government health facilities, especially in rural areas, are dilapidated and neglected, lacking the needed personnel, medicines, and equipment to function and deliver services efficiently.

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