What if we had a better healthcare system for Filipinos?
Watching TV one afternoon, I came across a local station’s documentary show. A young couple was in anguish because they just lost their three-year-old son to dehydration following diarrhea. Probiotics for kids could have saved the child until proper hospital care could be administered.
As a mother, it pained me to learn that in this modern day and age, we can still lose children to simple diseases that are completely treatable. What if we had a better healthcare system for Filipinos?
Medical Breakthroughs and Longer Lifespans
I have read somewhere and often hear on talk shows that the lifespan of humans today has lengthened because of medical breakthroughs. Nutrition and interventions play key roles in improving our health and enhancing the quality of life.
But why do people still die from dehydration, pneumonia, malnutrition, and many other preventable and curable ailments?
Reasons Why Simple Diseases are Life Threatening to Many Filipinos
Taking a step back, I got to thinking about the current health status of many Filipinos. While it is true that we now have super foods, supplements that can prevent diseases, and even advance technologies for treatments and therapies, these are only attainable for a privileged few.
If many minimum wage earners struggle to make ends meet, I think it is worse for those who have blue-collared jobs, the vendors, small farmers, and many more who do not have regular jobs. If they can hardly put food on the table, how could they be able to afford food and supplements like barley grass or malunggay capsules that are supposed to make us healthier?
Lack of Education about Healthcare
Furthermore, I realized that we really lack education in health issues. While information on health is accessible via the internet, it seems that it is not being put to good use. Things like basic sanitation and hygiene, while important to overall wellness, are often neglected, especially by those living in the slums and rural areas.
I believe in three main issues that should be addressed amongst Filipinos, especially in terms of education:
- Vaccines – in order to prevent some of the most debilitating diseases in childhood that could affect their future
- Breastfeeding – for the baby’s health as well as the family’s financial well-being to beat inflation
- Avoiding dengue – by keeping surroundings clean
- Washing of hands – to avoid diseases like Hepatitis and Cholera that are contracted from unclean hands
The Government’s Role in Better Healthcare
I have always looked for the ‘heart to serve’ among the people in public office. Sometimes, however, I feel like there’s a lack of empathy in some, especially among men. Maybe it’s not really because they’re condescending or they lack the heart, maybe it’s just because they are not aware of the situation or it’s just not their forte. Or maybe, that’s just the difference between men and women, which is why ideally, we have moms and dads who have different roles in the home.
When I have learned about Senator Grace Poe running for president back then, I started to study about her and listened to her speeches. I admired her grace and composure, especially under pressure. But more than that, I felt that, as a mom, she has more compassion towards the needs of Filipino families, especially in the area of healthcare.
Throughout her years in public service, Sen. Grace has lobbied and fought for affordable medicines for the masses. She is also a proponent for modernizing government hospitals and supporting specialists so that they will stay in their localities.
Grassroots Level in the Philippines
Furthermore, Sen. Grace understands that many Filipinos live far from the main cities. The main source of healthcare for the residents would be the medical workers and their limited resources in barangay health centers.
With this, Sen. Grace recognizes the need to improve the facilities in the centers so that they can provide basic health care and even emergency services. Their medical supplies should also be increased.
The Future of Filipinos
It’s time to choose some new leaders in our country next month. Read on the candidate’s platforms of government and their track records. What are the areas in our nation’s situation that you want to be addressed? Mine is a better healthcare system for Filipinos. I believe in a brighter future if we raise healthy children.