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tribute doc jara

Pagpupugay at pasasalamat sa iyong dedikasyon at walang pag-iimbot na serbisyo tungo sa kagalingang pangkalusugan at panlipunan.

May you rest in peace, Dr. Jara.

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Si Dr. Raul D. Jara ay naging parte ng MAG Board of Trustees sa mga taong 1987-1989 at 1989-1991. Siya ay isa sa mga manggagamot ng Philippine Heart Center bago pumanaw noong March 24, 2020 dahil sa coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

 

Public Statement on the Philippine Government’s Response to COVID-19

Medical Action Group

March 19, 2020

 

“Do no harm in times of emergency”

The 2019 novel coronavirus or COVID 19 is indeed a significant threat to global public health, prompting the World Health Organization to officially label the situation as pandemic for continuously reaching an exponential geographical spread.

Swift, decisive and effective government action is necessary and crucial. While the government health emergency response may limit the enjoyment of certain rights like the freedom of movement to prevent the spread of disease, it should not compromise the fulfillment of other rights, foremost of which is the peoples’ rights to decent jobs, food, shelter, and the enjoyment of a life in dignity.

More than a year in office, the Duterte administration has failed to address the inequity in healthcare in the country. The Philippines remains under severe social and economic inequalities with 26% of the population living in poverty and have limited access to healthcare services despite the promise of change by the current administration.

While the Duterte Health Agenda or ACHIEVE appeared promising, but there were no substantial changes in the health policies and programs to address the basic health needs of the people especially the marginalized and disadvantaged sectors.

The reduction of health budget from P125 billion this year to P94 billion next year, or by a huge P31 billion is not only a far cry from the 5% of the Gross Domestic Product standard but it only means a low per capita health expenditure which will generally affect the delivery of healthcare services With no additional Barangay Health Stations (BHS) that were put up, thousands of people were deprived of the promotive, preventive, and curative healthcare programs. While existing BHS which are already dilapidated and neglected, lacking the needed personnel, medicines, and equipment are no longer effectively functioning and delivering the health services needed by the communities. The primary health services are still concentrated more in urban centers while rural communities have very little or no health facilities at all.

The MEDICAL ACTION GROUP, INC (MAG) strongly condemns the murder of another public health worker who was selflessly serving the country at these times when his service was needed the most.

 Dr. George Repique Jr., had just finished his hospital duty at the General Emilio Aguinaldo Memorial Hospital (GEAMH) in Trece Martires when he was attacked and killed by unidentified riding-in-tandem assailants. He is the third doctor killed in five months.

A member of the University of the Philippines – College of Medicine class of 1993, Dr. Repique worked as a community health doctor for many years before being appointed as provincial health officer of the Province of Cavite, a position he served until his untimely death.

Justice for Dr. Perlas, Protect all medical doctors

We, the Medical Action Group (MAG), health and human rights organization, is saddened by the news on the death of 31-year old Dr. Dreyfuss Bolivar Perlas, the Municipal Health Officer (MHO) of municipality of Sapad, province of Lanao del Norte, under the government’s Doctors to the Barrios (DTTB) program.

According to reports, Dr. Perlas was shot dead while riding his motorbike in Barangay Maranding Annex, Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte, on Wednesday night, March 1. Based on reports, he came from a medical mission in Sapad town and was on his way home to Barangay Maranding where he was renting a house.

Dr. Perlas, who chose to serve the poor, was a native of Batan town in Aklan province. He was a biology graduate of the University of the Philippines (UP) in Los Baños in 2007 and earned his medical degree from the West Visayas State University in Iloilo City in 2011.

We are extending our sincerest condolences to Dr. Perlas’ family. His death was a great loss to the health and medical community, and to the communities of Lanao del Norte.

MAG deplores this act of violence. We take note that injustice takes place in this country on a daily basis and the “culture of killing” has reached the health sector.

Dr. Perlas’ death is more than another number or name in the long line of medical doctors who risked and ultimately lost their lives in defending people's right to health. His death is but one chapter in the story of many medical doctors who empowered whole communities.

There has been increasing recognition that attacks on and interference with health care violates the right to health. We take note that violence and threats against health workers, along with interference with access to health care, impedes the ability of people from receiving the health services they need. Targeted attacks on health undermine and sometimes destroy health systems and infrastructure, force health workers to flee areas where they are most needed.

We call on the government to ensure that alleged perpetrator on the killing of Dr. Perlas is effectively and promptly investigated and, ensure that families of Dr. Perlas receive adequate compensation. Likewise, we urge the government to strengthen preventive measures to enhance and promote the safety and protection of all medical and health personnel particularly those in remote communities and in situations of armed conflict where majority of DTTB doctors are deployed.