HealthJustice Philippines, a public health policy think tank and advocacy group aiming to “bridge the gap between health and law”, launched a video today calling for a change in the way Filipinos think about health care. Popular news and entertainment television host Kim “Kuya Kim” Atienza, who appears in the video, reminds the public: “Hindi kailangang magkasakit muna, makitang nanghihina ang mahal sa buhay o mabutas ang bulsa bago aksyunan ang kalusugan. It’s time to change the way we think about health care.”
“800 Filipino lives are lost every year due to non-communicable diseases like lung cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. 33 deaths annually are due to risk factors like tobacco use, harmful alcohol consumption, unhealthy food, and physical inactivity. These pressing concerns compel us to make prevention of illness a priority, and that is what Health Promotion is all about,” said Atty. Irene Reyes of HealthJustice.
HealthJustice earlier released a statement urging the Congress to pass a law on Health Promotion because “resources are concentrated on providing care and facilities for those who already sick, leaving too little for the prevention of illness.” The group likewise expressed support for the filing of a Health Promotion bill by Senator Risa Hontiveros.
The Ottawa Charter for Health Promotion, to which the Philippines is a party, describes “Health Promotion” as “not just the responsibility of the health sector, but goes beyond health lifestyles to well-being.”
“It’s time we make prevention of illness a priority. We call on everyone to be a partner for change in the way we think about health,” Reyes urged.