Hospital group supports Duque’s retention

Published May 26, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Analou De Vera

The Philippine Hospital Association (PHA) on Tuesday expressed its support for Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Francisco Duque III amid calls for him to step down from his post over his manner of handling the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) crisis in the country.

Health Secretary Francisco Duque III  (PCOO / MANILA BULLETIN)
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III

“There is no clamor for drastic changes in the leadership of the DOH right now,” said PHA President Dr. Jaime Almora in a DOH press briefing.

Almora said that the 1,981 members of PHA, which are both public and private hospitals, are satisfied with how the government is responding to the current health crisis.

“The PHA has been cooperating with the programs of the DOH. In fact, we are happy with how things are going. We are happy that we are able to control the spread of the infection. At least we are able to contain it in Manila, and in the provinces, we are not seeing an increase in cases out in the provinces,” said Almora.

“Tanggalin muna natin ang politika sa ating anti-COVID campaign. Magtulung-tulungan lang. Iyan ang focus natin sa ngayon–how to cooperate, make our efforts be united in this fight [Let’s get rid of politics in our anti-covid campaign. Let’s just help each other. That is our focus right now – how to cooperate, make our efforts be united in this fight],” he added.

The PHA’s staement comes a day after the Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines, Inc. (PHAPi) asked President Duterte to replace Duque as the country’s health chief. To note, the PHAPi has 744 members.

“We have high regard for him as one among our esteemed colleagues in the healthcare industry but he seems to be already so exhausted that there is [a] need for a fresh blood and a fresh mind to lead the Department of Health,” said PHAPi President Dr. Rustico Jimenez in a statement on Monday.

Duque recently drew flak for his statement that the country was already experiencing a second wave of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Last month, at least 14 senators called for the resignation of Duque due to “poor planning, delayed response, lack of transparency, and misguided and flip-flopping policies and measures in addressing the COVID-19 pandemic.”