Thursday, February 07, 2019

NCDs focus, measles outbreak and public health

This is one of the news reports yesterday,

DOH: 55 children dead in Metro Manila measles outbreak

San Lazaro Hospital had admitted over 1,500 patients since start of the year
By: Jovic Yee - Reporter / 05:20 AM February 07, 2019

For many years now, we have been bombarded by the DOH, WHO, many health NGOs and physician groups to be scared of, and pour lots of public and private money on non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Now the real communicable and infectious diseases are with us. The vaccine vs communicable disease dengue has been overly-politicized vs the previous administration.

Meanwhile, an advice from my physician friend, Dr. Jed Inciong: "Please, please have your children vaccinated against preventable diseases!”

Among the reasons for the outbreak is the political drama by the head of the Public Attorney's Office (PAO), Persida Acosta.

My problem with pouring huge public money on NCDs is that these are bottomless spending diseases. Even if we have P1 trillion/year for NCDs (1/3 of total budget) they won't be enough. Treating an advance stage cancer case might require 7 digits per patient. So even a P200/pack tobacco tax, or P200/liter beer tax will not be enough.

A better situation is that public money be focused on controlling communicable diseases like measles, dengue and malaria. Limited and capped amount of public resources be used for NCDs. People should get private health insurance to complement govt health insurance, plus charity, to deal with NCDs.

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