Health workers apprehensive

Manila, Philippines - Health workers yesterday expressed their fears over job security after the government stood by its decision to modernize the Philippine Orthopedic Center through a Private Public Partnership initiative. Last Monday, the Alliance of Health Workers and the National Orthopedic Hospital Workers,’ Union alliance of Health Workers and patients filed a petition asking the Supreme Court to stop the government from privatizing the POC. The health groups warned that the privatization of POC would result in the denial of medical services to thousands of Filipinos which is a violation of the constitution. But in a press conference the following day, Malacañang assured the health groups that modernization is part of the government’s overall program on universal health. Furthermore, government officials said the upgrade of facilities will reduce the POC’s dependence on national subsidy for operational needs.