Rappler Talk: Francisco Duque III on the state of health in the Philippines

MANILA, Philippines – Earlier this year, Republic Act No, 11223 or the Universal Health Care Act was signed into law, promising quality health care for all Filipinos. It was hailed as path-breaking, setting the direction for the reform of the Philippines' health care sector.

Months later, the Department of Health (DOH) announced the reemergence of polio or poliomylelitis in the country. The Philippines was declared polio-free since October 2000, with the last case of poliovirus reported in 1993. Since the health department declared an outbreak, both the DOH and partners like the World Health Organization (WHO) have emphasized the importance of vaccination in addressing preventable diseases. 

The country also saw this year the highest number of dengue cases recorded since 2012. From January to August alone, the DOH recorded a total of over 240,000 cases – a 109% increase from 2018. 

Rappler health reporter Janella Paris sits down with Health Secretary Francisco Duque III to discuss vaccination, universal health care, and other health issues in the country. 

With health problems left and right, as well as the widely-criticized budget cuts for 2020, how will the health department implement its ambitious health reform plan that would give citizens access to preventive, promotive, curative, rehabilitative, and palliative care?

Watch it here on Wednesday, October 30, at 7 pm. – Rappler.com