Thursday, February 2, 2017

Why We Should Support the NDFP Draft for Socio-Economic Reforms: #NDFPeaceTalks

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Press Release:
February 2, 2016

HEAD Supports NDFP Draft for Socio-Economic Reforms

Health Alliance for Democracy and health groups support the draft on socio-economic reforms of the National Democratic Front of the Philippines. "The NDFP draft on socio-economic reforms ensures not only quality and free health for Filipinos, but a healthy society as a whole," said Dr. Joseph M. Carabeo, HEAD Secretary General.

The NDFP draft recognizes that socio-economic conditions are directly correlated with health, and thus presented solutions that fit the needs of FilipinosNDFP-SER addresses the basic needs of the people through genuine agrarian reform and national industrialization, uplifting Filipinos and effecting an improvement in overall health levels. Included in the NDFP draft is an article with 7 sections on health reforms.

The NDFP-SER promotes a culture of service, not profit; it seeks to stop privatization, corporatization and other neoliberal policies that treat health as a commodity. Free health on primary, secondary and tertiary levels are ensured through strengthening the public health system, decreasing the need for private hospitals and health financing such as PhilHealth. Disease prevention and health promotion is given importance instead of illnesses and cures.

We welcome the NDFP-SER's reversal of the Philippine Health Agenda of the Department of Health: the Ubial-led health system that seeks to further privatize and corporatize public hospitals and increase health financing to ensure the continuous flow of income for private institutions.

Empowered and responsive health workers prevail under the NDFP-SER. Health workers shall enjoy just compensation, adequate benefits and humane working conditions. This along with a nationalist health science education will encourage them to stay and serve the people. NDFP-SER also ensures that the state upholds democratic rights of health workers, such as the right to unionize, freedom of expression and right to association. 

HEAD advocates for a government that is genuinely concerned with the health of its people. The development of a public health system responsive to its people's needs is attainable through the NDFP-SER.

The NDFP held a consultation meeting with various sectors on December 13, 2016. Health groups including HEAD submitted proposals on the public healthcare system, which the NDFP adapted into their SER draft. This draft was presented to the GRP panel on the third round of peace talks on January 21 to 25, 2017 at Rome, Italy. The proposals by the health sector were first presented to the Duterte administration and the Department of Health.

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