DAGUPAN City: Senator Grace Poe vowed that if she gets elected as President, each town will have a doctor and each provincial hospital will get P1 billion a year for repair and upgrade.
Poe made the commitment at the final presidential debate held on Sunday night here in Pangasinan.
She said she saw the pitiful state of many hospitals in rural areas during her campaign.
Her “Gobyernong may Puso” (Government with a Heart), according to the senator, will use the P140 billion collection from sin taxes to upgrade public health facilities all over the country.
The senator said many local government units are still complaining about the lack of support from the government particularly on healthcare despite the additional revenue being collected from sin taxes.
With P140 billion, Poe added, the government can easily allot P1 billion for every province for the rehabilitation of provincial hospitals.
She said some public hospitals do not even have stable water supply.
“How can you treat the patient when you don’t have water to clean yourself first? As a woman, I will take care of our hospitals,” Poe added.
The senator said she will establish a One Town, One Doctor (OTOD) scholarship program to address the lack of health personnel in rural areas.
Under this program, one scholarship slot will be allotted for a student from each of the country’s 1,634 cities and municipalities.
The scholarship will cover tuition, books and allowances.
There are around 66,000 registered physicians in the Philippines but only 2,944 of them are in public service. This means that there is only one government doctor for every 34,000 Filipinos.
A 2010 survey by the Social Weather Stations revealed that 25 percent of Filipinos have never consulted a doctor while 16 percent last saw a doctor more than five years ago.
Poe said she will ensure that all indigents will not have to dip into their pockets when they seek medical care.