features from SOBRIETY for the PHILIPPINES:
(Without Fear or Favor)
Monday, July 23, 2012
“For several months now, local movements all over the Philippines have been picketing local offices of the Department of Health to protest the Aquino administration’s drive to either sell off or corporatize 26 public hospitals.” – Gabriela
By JANESS ANN J. ELLAO
MANILA – With their daily income hardly enough to feed the family, they could not afford to have anyone get sick, said Arlene Acabo, 42, a resident of Tatalon, Quezon City, said.
“Our health is among our top priorities, especially when it comes to my children. They are sickly. We live near a river so our home usually gets flooded. We are exposed to so many possible sicknesses,” Acabo said.
Acabo joined Gabriela, the country’s largest women’s group, in calling on President Benigno “Noynoy” C. Aquino III to look into the welfare of Filipino women in a recent protest action at the foot of Mendiola Bridge. During the rally, one protester dramatized their plight when she lied down on a hospital stretcher with an intravenous drip. Gabriela, in its statement, described it as a portrayal of how Aquino’s policies are tormenting the Filipino people.
“For several months now, local movements all over the Philippines have been picketing local offices of the Department of Health to protest the Aquino administration’s drive to either sell off or corporatize 26 public hospitals, “ Gabriela said, “it will further worsen the bad state of women’s health.”
State of women’s health
Acobo said public hospitals are of great help to their families. Sometime in October last year, a dog bit her. She was brought to a nearby private hospital but was rejected when they said they could not afford to pay the down payment right away. Acobo could no longer remember how much it was but it was something that she and her husband, who works as a sewer in a garments factory and takes home only $70 a month, could not cough up in an hour or two.
“The check up was already worth $6 and it does not yet include the shots,” she said.
They moved to San Lazaro Hospital, a public hospital, and paid only $0.70 for the check up. The staff immediately cleaned her wound. Acobo bought the vaccines outside the hospital.
With the proposed privatization of public hospitals, Acobo wonders how poor Filipinos would be able to survive. “It is very scary to think about. Are we going to die without the benefit of being treated?” she said..... MORE
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