Revilla calls for 'more comprehensive, equitable' DOH response to pandemic

Published June 19, 2020, 1:17 PM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Vanne Elaine Terrazola

Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. urged the Department of Health (DOH) to come up with a “more comprehensive and equitable” response to the COVID-19 pandemic that considers other health-related concerns.

Senator Ramon Revilla Jr. (Senator Ramon Revilla Jr. official Facebook page / MANILA BULLETIN)
Senator Ramon Revilla Jr.
(Senator Ramon Revilla Jr. official Facebook page / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

Revilla filed Senate Resolution No. 438 wherein he lamented how other illnesses and health concerns have been sidelined in the government’s fight against the coronavirus disease.

“As hospitals become overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients and treatment, clinical care of patients with other illnesses, whether critical or emergency, along with preventive measures and routinary treatments, laboratory tests and check- ups, weaken,” the senator said in the resolution.

“COVID-19 may be infecting a lot of people and taking a significant number of lives, but it is also depriving others of desperately needed treatment and attention,” he pointed out.

While the DOH has ordered the continuous provision of essential health care services and operations of facilities for the treatment of other diseases such as kidney and renal diseases, Revilla said the lack of transportation, among other challenges posed by the quarantine measures, hindered the implementation of this directive.

He also recalled the Philippines losing its certification as a polio-free country when cases of polio were reported in several regions in the country last year.

Last June 2, poliovirus was detected in the water samples taken from the Ligasong Creek in Calamba, Laguna, he noted.

“The threat becomes real as the state continues to focus its attention to the COVID-19 pandemic. These are among the issues and concerns that must not be overlooked, forgotten, and ignored,” Revilla said.

Revilla said: “There is a need for a more wide-ranging, but scientific and health-conscious, and compassionate approach to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. One that takes into consideration other health concerns without sacrificing the necessary attention towards COVID-19 treatment and control.”

“The State must exhaust all possible approaches to effectively, efficiently, and equitably address the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.

SR No. 438 is pending in the Senate Health Committee.

Last April, the DOH reminded health facilities in the country to continue providing other essential health services amid the COVID-19 crisis.

“Health facilities, such as rural/city health centers, satellite health centers, birthing centers, treatment hubs, and infirmaries providing essential health services must remain open despite the enhanced community quarantine,” Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire had said, citing the provisions of DOH Department Circular No. 2020-0167 which ordered the uninterrupted delivery of essential health services despite the pandemic.

DOH Secretary Francisco Duque also appealed to local government units to deploy mobile clinics, especially in far-flung areas, to continue to provide services for persons seeking medical attention during the quarantine.