Health nat sit
I'm currently attending a two-day conference on health issues convened by Akbayan and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung. Health issues are totally new to me so hearing NGO people talk about reproductive and sexual health, IPR regime with regard to medicines, treacherous pharmaceutical companies, community-based healh care was a heady experience.
If you think you are too perky or Panglossian for your own good, try attending this kind of meetings. In no time you'd be needing Prozac. Prof. Michael Tan, inter alia, discussed the National Demographic and Health Survey. I was particularly struck by the 25,000 Filipinos who needlessly die each year of tuberculosis, a preventable and supposedly manageable disease. Dr. Jaime Galvez-Tan announced that the Generics Law is dead, that 9,000 doctors have become nurses, and that there are district hospitals in some areas where not a single doctor or nurse can be found. Atty. Susan Villanueva talked about how giant pharmaceutical companies and the US are conspiring to keep medicine prices in the Philippines higher than in all Southeast Asian countries.
It's depressing--hearing about all these problems and being powerless to do anything about it.