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‘Use sin tax to hire more doctors, health workers’

Mayen Jaymalin (The Philippine Star) - March 13, 2015 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The government can resolve the prevailing shortage of doctors and other health workers in public hospitals by using sin tax revenues to hire more medical personnel, the Philippine College of Physicians (PCP) said yesterday.

Anthony Leachon, president of PCP, noted that the allocation from sin tax revenues can be used to hire a sufficient number of health care workers and retrain others in handling communicable and non-communicable diseases.

PCP also suggested that sin taxes can be appropriated for the betterment of working conditions of public health workers.

The government must take care of medical workers to fully realize the universal healthcare program. “There will be no universal healthcare if there are no health workers who will care for the health of the people,” Leachon added.

Two years after the passage of the Sin Tax Law, medical workers have yet to feel the gains of the measure.

Not enough doctors

Based on data of PCP, there are only 3,000 doctors, 5,000 nurses and 17,000 midwives working in public health facilities.

“The number is 10 times less than the 24/10,000 recommended by the World Health Organization as the minimum number needed,” he said.

He said there is also a shortage of dentists, pharmacists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech pathologists, medical technologists and other allied medical professionals.

ANTHONY LEACHON HEALTH LEACHON MEDICAL PCP PHILIPPINE COLLEGE OF PHYSICIANS SIN SIN TAX LAW WORKERS WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION
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