Health Latest News: Group urges Congress to pass Health Promotion Law

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Health Justice Philippines

HealthJustice Philippines, a public health policy think tank and advocacy group with expertise in tobacco control and health promotion, calls on legislators to prioritize passage of a Health Promotion law to address the rise in non-communicable diseases (NCDs).

“NCDs kill 33 Filipinos every hour. We are asking members of the Congress to further protect our people’s right to health by passing a law that would increase resources and strengthen government efforts for Health Promotion,” said Atty. Irene Reyes, Managing Director of HealthJustice.

Based on the 2013 Philippine Health Statistics released by the Department of Health, 800 persons die every day from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) or non-infectious and non-transmissible diseases such as cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and respiratory diseases.

In a move that acknowledges the prevalence of NCDs in the country, the Philippines also agreed to adopt the National Policy on Strengthening the Prevention and Control of Chronic Lifestyle Related Non-Communicable Diseases in 2011.

“Right now, our resources are concentrated on providing care for those who are already sick. It is the government that ends up paying all the hospital bills. Why not invest in promoting a healthy lifestyle that could prevent sickness in the first place? Not only would that the save us money; it would also spare us the harrowing experience of seeing a loved one painfully die of a disease that could have been prevented,” Reyes added.

HealthJustice, which is a Bloomberg Awardee for Global Tobacco Control, earlier came out with a statement supporting the filing of a Health Promotion bill by Senator Risa Hontiveros. The said bill intends to establish “a national health promotion institute that will promote a healthy lifestyle.” 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.”

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