DOH seeks more funds for health facilities in 2018
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) is seeking more funds to build and repair health facilities nationwide in its proposed 2018 budget.
In the 2018 National Expenditure Program (NEP), the DOH is proposing to allot P29.030 billion for its health facilities enhancement program alone – nearly P5 billion more than its P24.194 billion budget for the program this year.
Under the proposed health facilities enhancement budget, P22.232 billion is allotted all DOH-run hospitals, medical facilities, and drug rehabilitation centers, with priority given to those located in or near poor provinces.
The remaining P6.798 billion will be used to purchase hospital equipment for these facilities.
“The proposed budget seeks to lower the inequities in the health sector. Gains from the Sin Tax Law will be used to enhance the public’s access to quality health services, through the improvement of health facilities and the deployment of medical practitioners,” President Rodrigo Duterte said in his budget message.
The proposed health facilities enhancement program budget will be used to build 1,497 barangay health stations and improve 353 hospitals.
The DOH is also asking Congress to allot P9.7 billion for the deployment of medical practitioners to remote communities, including hiring 446 doctors, 20,527 nurses, 3,108 midwives, and 324 dentists.
DOH assistance to indigent patients in the proposed 2018 budget increased to P4.342 billion from the current year’s P3.970 billion.
The budget for the purchase of drugs, medicines, and vaccines, however, decreased in the proposed 2018 NEP. The department is only asking for P15.526 billion for this item, less than the its current P17.944-billion budget to buy drugs, medicines, and vaccines.
Overall, the proposed 2018 budget for DOH increased to P103.602 billion from P95.274 billion in 2017, or about P8.328 billion higher than this year’s budget. (READ: Education, infra to get bulk of proposed 2018 nat'l budget)
The increase in the proposed budget for the health sector will go higher by as much as P12.235 billion given the 2018 appropriations for the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth).
The DOH will defend its proposed budget before the House appropriations committee on Monday, August 14. – Rappler.com