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Failed try to kill country doctor is alarming

Failed try to kill country doctor is alarming
By Mark Ivan Roblas, Researcher

THE attempt on the life of a doctor in Kalinga will drive medical practitioners away from the countryside where they are most needed.

At a press briefing, Dr. Ramon Paterno of the University of the Philippines National Institute of Health said that while the target, Dr. Constancio “Chandu” Claver, survived the attempt, it was a message for health workers to transfer to other areas.

Several doctors attending the news conference echoed the same sentiment, saying the countryside stands to lose because physicians feel vulnerable there.

The doctors added many among their peers are joining the exodus to the city and, worse, to other countries, contributing to the brain drain.

Dr. Joseph Carabeo said other community health workers like nurses and midwives feel they are becoming targets of the government’s anti-insurgency campaign. They are considering their options.
“It is one reason some doctors are enrolling in nursing schools,” Carabeo said. “They are desperate to leave the country.”

Dr. Edelina de la Paz, vice president of Health Action for Human Rights, said health workers fear they will be trapped in the all-out war the government is waging on the insurgents.

“Do we become communist supporters when we treat the poor and the less privileged, who constitute the great majority of the Filipino people?” de la Paz asked.

Dr. Gene Nisperos, secretary-general of Health Alliance for Democracy, dared the government to say outright if the anti-insurgency war includes doctors on its “hit list.”

FROM: Manila Times
http://www.manilatimes.net/national/2006/aug/03/yehey/metro/20060803met6.html



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