‘Ubial set stan­dard for health chief ’

The Philippine Star - - NEWS - Sheila Crisos­tomo

Health ad­vo­cacy groups Health Jus­tice Philip­pines (HJP) and New Vois As­so­ci­a­tion of the Philip­pines (NVAP) yes­ter­day urged Pres­i­dent Duterte to choose a De­part­ment of Health (DOH) chief that will fol­low the frame­work and poli­cies set by for­mer sec­re­tary Paulyn Ubial.

In a joint state­ment, HJP and NVAP said Duterte must “en­sure that next health ap­pointee is able to ful­fill the prom­ises of the Philip­pine Health Agenda and ac­cel­er­ate the progress made in the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the Smoke Free Ex­ec­u­tive Or­der and pro­grams on men­tal health, nu­tri­tion, HIV/AIDs and health pro­mo­tion or pre­ven­tive ap­proaches in health.”

They noted the Pres­i­dent should make sure that the pro­grams im­ple­mented by Ubial are “on track.”

“Sec­re­tary Ubial held a very strong po­si­tion against the to­bacco in­dus­try and never com­pro­mised. She was faith­ful to the Civil Ser­vice rule that pub­lic ser­vants should not meet with the to­bacco in­dus­try un­less nec­es­sary for reg­u­la­tion. That’s a true test of in­tegrity,” claimed NVAP pres­i­dent Emer Ro­jas.

Ac­cord­ing to HJP pres­i­dent May Fer­nan­dez Men­doza, “it is typ­i­cal for sec­re­taries of health, who are doc­tors, to fo­cus on treat­ment or on medicine.”

Men­doza added that “pub­lic health is not just about treat­ment and med­i­cal as­sis­tance.”

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