Vice President Jejomar C. Binay pushed for improved women's health services as he expressed dismay over the lack of health workers and health facilities in rural areas.
"In Manila, this need may not seem as pressing, as health centers are not very distant from our people. But in the more remote areas of the country, there are not enough health workers to fulfill their noble duty. Practitioners are more plentiful in urban areas while precious few are in the rural areas, where women of all ages require the same attention as their sisters in Manila, Cebu or Davao," Binay said in a speech during the closing ceremony of the 66th Anniversary of the Philippine Obstetrical and Gynecological Society (POGS) in Pasay city last Friday.
Binay said the government already has programs in place like the Doctors to the Barrios and the Regionalization program but acknowledged that more needs to be done in order to address the imbalance.
"These programs are a good start and we work to ensure that government will continue to strengthen these programs each year. We do however need to push harder and wider," he said.
"Many nations, even those in the First World, work towards seeing women gain equality with men. It is only just that we take great pains to provide things such as mandatory immunization and screening to protect our women from cervical cancer, one of the leading causes of death among women in our country," he added.
The Vice President also said that he is hoping that the increased investor confidence in the Philippines will usher in development in rural areas which will in turn cause direct and indirect investments in the health sector.
"A doctor's service should not come at the expense of his own welfare or that of his family. We need to bring development to the countryside so that doctors can realistically establish a practice in these areas," Binay said.
These mechanisms should include adequate health facilities where they can work as well as proper facilities where children from all walks can obtain proper health care and education according to Binay.