MANILA, May 19, 2014— A discernment group of Catholic priests in the Visayas have joined calls to “stop the privatization” of the Philippine Orthopedic Center.
In a statement, the Visayas Clergy Discernment Group (VCDG) said it is a “crime of neglect” for the government to privatize the public hospital.
San Carlos Bishop Gerardo Alminaza, VCDG head convenor, said that in the Philippines, around 70% of the population, or some 66 million Filipinos, are living off less than P104 per person a day.
“The Philippine government would be reneging on its constitutional obligation to take care of the basic needs of the people, one of which is adequate medical care [if it privatized the hospital],” Alminaza said.
Instead of privatizing the government hospitals, they urged the government “to build more government hospitals, especially in the rural areas”.
“Moreover, [the government should] strengthen the program to mobilize young doctors, nurses and other caregivers to the rural areas before they go abroad,” Alminaza added.
“It is the poor workers, farmers, and fisherfolk who provide the basic needs of the of Philippine society. If they are healthy, the Philippines will be healthy,” he said. (CBCPNews)