Press Release
May 23, 2008


Senator Edgardo J. Angara today called for strengthening the country's health system by supporting human resource development, health financing, service delivery, and research and development (R&D).

Speaking at the 2008 National Conference on Health, organized by the Congressional Commission on Science, Technology and Engineering (COMSTE) which he chairs, Angara recommended the following:

  • Review and assess the implementation of DOH's human resource plan
  • Ease the boundaries of professional practice to respond to needs of people in the rural areas; allow non-medical practitioners to carry out lifesaving procedures
  • Ensure that health expenditures are linked to outcomes, and that health budgeting is results-oriented
  • Use the National Health Accounts (NHA) as a system to track expenditures
  • Find ways to increase PhilHealth premiums and benefits
  • Evaluate efficiency of health service delivery at the local levels

He stressed that "the provision of health service is the litmus test that shows how responsive, efficient and effective the health system is."

"To achieve this, municipal- and province-level managers of health services should be oriented towards achieving results. Key to achieving results is to monitor, monitor, monitor," said Angara.

He lamented the wide gaps in health service in the Philippines, reflected in the country's top health problems such as high infant and maternal mortality rate, malnutrition, malaria and TB, the emergence of a diabetes crisis and the lack of immunization.

"Our health sector must be able to respond to these problems. We will onle be able to achieve our health goals if we have a vital and robustly functioning health system in place. This will enable us to save lives, prevent and cure illnesses, and enhance our well-being," said Angara.

Angara is the author of important health laws such PhilHealth, the Breastfeeding Law, and the National Institutes of Health.

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