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women Slam Aquino's Abandonment of Healthcare in National Women's Day of Protest
Press Release Posted on October 27th, 2012.
Rep. Luzviminda Ilagan, 0920-9213221
Kristine Joy Catequista-Haban (GWP Spokesperson), 0919-6298132
Women held protest today at the Lung Center of the Philippines, the National Kidney Institute and the Philippine Heart Center raising their voices against the planned corporatization and privatization of government hospitals.
“Inilalagay ng patakarang pangkalusugan ng pamahalaang Aquino ang aming mga pamilya sa tiyak na kapahamakan at sa bingit ng kamatayan. Ang patakarang Public Private Partnership, corporatization at ang pagkakait ng badyet sa serbisyong pangkalusugan ay mistulang si kamatayan na hihila sa amin sa hukay!” said Gabriela Women’s Party spokesperson Kristine Joy Haban.
Phantoms bearing bloodied yellow scythes with the words “Public Private Partnership”, “Corporatization” and “P1.10 badyet sa kalusugan sa bawat Pilipino” illustrated the Aquino government’s health agenda’s lethal impact on the lives of women and their families. Women eventually tied the phantoms down using pink cloths that demonstrated their demand for free access to appropriate primary healthcare. They chanted, “kalusugan ay serbisyo, wag i-negosyo!”
Gabriela Representative Luz Ilagan who joined protesters said many public hospitals are forced to allow private businesses and multinationals to interfere in the delivery of healthcare and charge indigent patients for health services as the government continues to reduce budgetary allocations for the maintenance and upgrade of equipment and facilities. The plan to corporatize 26 government hospitals is still underway with legislative measures still pending in both Congress and Senate.
Ilagan laments that the intrusion of business interests into healthcare will result to increases in healthcare services by as much as 100-200%. “This is already evident in the discrepancies of laboratory charges between public hospitals and corporatized hospitals like the PHC and NKTI.”
Women protesters fear that the dismal health situation in the country evident in the continued rise in maternal as well as infant mortality rates, rise in malnutrition among children as well as the continued rise in HIV cases will take a turn from bad to worse.
Simultaneous protest actions calling for women’s access to healthcare are also being led by Gabriela Women’s Party chapters in Iloilo and Davao.
“As we commemorate the National Women’s Day of Protest, we are raising the alarm as we continue to see the Aquino government’s total abdication of its responsibility to ensure the people’s right to healthcare. We will continue to protest and demand for women’s right to free access to appropriate primary healthcare.”#