Medical Mission Participants Call for Justice on the Recent Killings of Health Professionals in the Philippines
On November 20th, 2018, a Negros doctor who practiced at Canlaon Hospital, in Guihulngan town of Central Visayas, Philippines was gunned down. Within the last two years, this is the ninth doctor under the Duterte administration to be killed.
Last November 10th-14th, we participated in a medical-surgical mission in Northern Samar, Philippines co-organized by the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) and Kabataan Alliance. Composed of nurses, medical and pharmacy technicians, medical scribes, health students, pastors, community organizers, educators, and volunteers from across the United States, we met volunteer doctors and health professionals and workers in the Philippines who gave their time, energy, and skills, for the underserved communities who have little opportunity to see doctors and avail of health services.
We stand in solidarity with our Philippine-based partners Council for Health and Development (CHD) and Aksyon Health Workers (AHW) in calling for justice of the most recent killing Negros doctor, Dr. Avelex Amor. We call on the immediate investigation and justice of these attacks on all health professionals, especially those practicing in underserved communities.
These include the deaths of Dr. Dreyfuss Perlas of Lanao del Norte, Dr. Jaja Sinolinding of Cotabato City, Dr. George Repique of Trece Martires, Cavite, Dr. Romeo Subiate of Tarlac City, Dr. Vicente Soco of Dinagat Island, Dr. Amalia Gutierrez of Cotabato City, Dr. Felix Valenzuela of Bago City, and Dr. Harivelle Hernando of Las Piñas City.
We stand in support of all health workers and demand the Philippine government and Department of Health (DOH) take responsibility to ensure their safety. We acknowledge that ongoing neglect will lead to less health workers contributing their skills to underserved areas who have little or no health services.
We support CHD and AHW call for the DOH to provide ongoing protection for all health professionals, disregard practices that discourage workers practicing in underserved areas, and develop better policies to encourage health professionals to serve in these areas by means of higher salaries and benefits, as well as increasing the health budget.
We pledge our solidarity to work together to end the violence against all health workers and call for justice and immediate action for these doctors. We all want justice for the death of our health workers, and to assure future professionals can practice safely to provide care to the most vulnerable communities.
If you have any questions, please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
~November 2018 Medical Mission participants