A group of health workers criticized the government for its low fund allocation to the Department of Health (DOH) under the proposed 2021 national budget, citing the health budget per Filipino per year is only P3.16.
The Alliance of Health Workers (AHW) said the P127.28 billion budget allocation for DOH is only 2.82 percent of the 2021 national budget plan and only 0.6 percent of gross domestic product.
The group added the budget, though P27 billion higher than in 2019, does not reflect on how the DOH could prioritize health-related programs and solve the problems caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
AHW also said the budget is not enough to stop the spread of the coronavirus and would not meet the needs of the Filipinos affected by the global crisis.
The government also reduced the maintenance and other operating expenses (MOOE) for public hospitals and did not include a capital outlay for free health services, the group said.
Gov’t allocates P3.16 health budget for per Filipino per year – AHW
“Worst of all, PhilHealth (the Philippine Health Insurance Corp.), which is plagued by corruption, has been given huge funds that will continue to be milked by corrupt government officials. The P71.3 billion DOH subsidy to PhilHealth should be realigned to the 66 DOH hospitals across the country for free and direct health services to patients,” it said.
On Saturday, Filipino Nurses United (FNU) said the proposed 2021 national health budget is an “uncaring,” with only a small percentage allotted to the health budget of Filipinos.
“The proposed 2021 national health budget is an uncaring budget for a nation suffering from hunger, devastating economic and health effects of a pandemic that continuously wreaks havoc on both the majority poor as well as the health care workers in the frontline,” it said.
“The allotment of 2 percent for health in the national budget reflects the severe callousness on our people’s health and safety, and survival needs while abandoning the distress call of health workers at this time of uncontained pandemic while intending to give the huge budget chunk to firearms, intelligence, roads, and infrastructure,” the FNU said.