Health workers appeal to CA: Reject Herbosa as DOH chief
Health workers appeal to CA: Reject Herbosa as DOH chief
Health workers appeal to CA: Reject Herbosa as DOH chief
by Ada Pelonia26 September 2023

Hours prior to the deliberations on Dr. Teodoro Herbosa as Secretary of the Department of Health (DOH), health workers appealed for the Commission on Appointments (CA) to reject him as DOH chief in the confirmation hearing set for Tuesday, Sept. 26.

In a press statement released earlier today, the Alliance of Health Workers (AHW) strongly condemned Herbosa’s appointment as health secretary, claiming that he was a promoter of the privatization of public hospitals and therefore unqualified for the post.

“Herbosa does not qualify to health workers preferred qualities that a good DOH chief must possess. He is known for being a notorious red-tagger and implementer of anti-health worker and anti-people policies,” the AHW statement read.

“Dapat pro-health worker [at] pro-people yung ating magiging secretary [...] pero naglabas siya ng statement na ‘binabati ko yung mga health workers, yung mga bagong bayani, maliban doon sa mga nagra-rally.’ Dapat hindi ganun ang kanyang statement kasi ang aming panawagan ay legitimate," (AHW) President Robert Mendoza said in an interview with DZRH.

Mendoza cited Herbosa’s tweet during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when he shared being grateful for healthcare heroes except those who joined the protest where healthcare workers clamored for the benefits promised to them by the government.

‘Privatization czar’

The AHW statement recalled Herbosa’s post as former DOH Undersecretary during Aquino’s administration where they called him a “privatization czar” of public hospitals following the attempted privatization and abolition of the Philippine Orthopedic Center and Fabella Hospital, respectively.

“May masama tayong karanasan kay secretary Herbosa. Alam natin na utak ito ng privatization. Siya yung unang namuno para isapribado ang Philippine Orthopedic Center at abolition ng Fabella Hospital [...] mariin nating kinukundina na mamuno siya bilang secretary of health,” Mendoza said.

The AHW President also underscored the organization’s importance when confronted with privatization attempts.

“Kung walang ganitong mga organization baka mamaya ang ating mga pampublikong ospital maisapribado lahat. Tayo yung mga organizations na tumitingin kung paano ibibigay yung ating pangangalaga sa mamamayan at the same time para sa ating mga healthcare workers both public and private,” he said.

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