Philippines president appeals to doctors: Join me in service of the people

May. 11, 2007

MANILA — President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo called on the countrys physicians today to join her in efforts to make economic prosperity, social justice and peace and security a reality “for a new modernizing Philippines.”

In her speech at the 37th annual convention of the Philippine College of Physicians, the President lauded Filipino physicians for being world-class in all fields of medicine and also for being “servants of the people.”

“There are many things that we can do together, but you are such world-class physicians, I have no doubt you will also be world class citizens and servants of the people,” she told her audience at the plenary hall of the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City.

The President thanked the doctors for initiating the Health Education Reform Order (HERO) which she launched through Executive Order No. 595.

The program commits physicians to orient teaching personnel of public schools all over the country on preventive health care based on current morbidity and mortality trends.

They will also help implement a yearly nationwide medical and dental checkup for elementary and high school students as well as teaching and non-teaching personnel all over the country.

“Through this program, we will be able to reach out or continue to reach out to millions of teachers and school children who will hopefully make preventive medicine a way of life for all,” the President explained.

The Chief Executive also expressed gratitude to the doctors who attended to the medical and surgical needs of her husband, First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo, when he underwent a successful open-heart surgery last month.

“For me this convention is an opportunity to acknowledge once again the admirable proficiency of our doctors especially those who saved the life of my husband,” she said.

The government, the President said, has allocated a big portion of the Department of Health (DOH) budget to upgrade the provincial hospitals from primary to secondary.

This, she pointed out, will allow them to perform ordinary surgery and deliveries so that tertiary hospitals will be able to take care of the more specialized cases. (OPS)

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