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"Depriving people of proper health care for whatever reason is tantamount to torture and violates national law and the country’s international obligations, a former health secretary said.

“Health services are always available but not always accessible. Denied health services also a form of torture," Dr. Jaime Galvez Tan said at the launch of the Medical Action Group’s project, “Heal not Harm: Preventing Torture in the Philippine Health Care Setting,” which will disseminate information, document and identify areas of torture and illegal detention in the Philippine health setting.

The project is sponsored by DKA, or the Catholic Children’s Movement of Austria, Tan said, and is also intended to support the DOH’s “Guidelines for the Implementation of Section 19 of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act No. 9475,” or the Anti-Torture Law."