By Raymund Antonio
How can every Filipino have access to quality, safe and affordable health care?
The country’s second highest official addressed the primary issue hounding the Philippine health care system—lack of medicines and medical facilities in remote areas – in a speech before members of the pharmaceutical industry Friday.
Vice President Leni Robredo pushed for “innovative ways” as well as “streamlined” health regulations in the delivery of crucial health services for Filipinos, especially those living in rural communities.
“Everything hinges on our people’s wellbeing: productivity, creativity, and growth. That is why it is very important that we continue coming together, sharing best practices, and standardize and integrate our processes and our guidelines so that we gain better knowledge on who, what, and how best to regulate,” she said.
Robredo pointed out there should be better systems in providing people with information regarding their options in medicines.
“Patients do not demand for medical services or lower prices because they are simply not informed. We need to inform our people that they have other options, so that they can make better decisions,” she said.
The highest-ranking woman in government appeared at the second Philippine Pharmaceutical Regulatory Affairs Summit and 16th Biennial Convention of the Philippine Association of Pharmacists in the Pharmaceutical Industry held in Muntinlupa City, where she was the keynote speaker.
Healthcare is one of Robredo’s key advocacies through Angat Buhay, her flagship anti-poverty program, of which PAPPI is a partner.
Robredo stressed the importance of collaboration with the private sector to improve the access of Filipinos to healthcare.
In her speech, the Vice President noted that PAPPI had provided medicines and medical counselling to residents during her Metro Laylayan visit in the cities of Marikina and Muntinlupa.
Angat Buhay partners Physicians for Peace and ANCOP Foundation U.S had also turned over wheelchairs and assistive devices for persons with disabilities and medicines, respectively, in San Remigio, Cebu.