The much touted public-private partnership (PPP) program of the Aquino administration is denying further the poor’s access to affordable health care.
PPP is a joint venture between the government and one or more private companies in running a business or service. State-run hospitals are not spared from this program. Up for PPPs are the Philippine Orthopaedic Center, San Lazaro Hospital, National Center for Mental Health in Manila, Research Institute for Tropical Medicine (RITM) in Alabang, Western Visayas Sanitarium in Iloilo and Eversley Child’s Sanitarium in Cebu.
The Alliance of Health workers (AHW), an organization of government health workers, revealed that someprivate companies have already been profiting from PPP. The group cited as example Himex, which provides the radiology “services” of Jose Reyes Memorial Medical Center; the Carte-blance at the Lung Center of the Philippines which profits from its dietary services and Fabricare for Lung Center’s laundry. At the Philippine General Hospital (PGH), the privately-operated Faculty Medical Arts Building has begun operations this year.
“The number one threat to Filipino health and job security is the US-Aquino Regime, whose PPPs result in privatization, in the abandonment of health as a right of the people, and in denying health workers decent wages and jobs,” Sean Vilchez, deputy secretary-general of Health Alliance for Democracy (HEAD), said.
According to the group, the promotion of PPP by the Aquino administration has left public hospitals in a state of disrepair and neglect to justify the entry of private investments. Unfortunately, the poor are left to shoulder the burden.