In an open letter published in a major newspaper on Monday, 3 former health secretaries including Drs. Esperanza Cabral, Alberto Romualdez and Jaime Galvez- Tan joined other leaders and individuals from the health sector in calling for the immediate release of the Morong 43.
In the published letter, they recognized the value of the Morong 43’s community health work in the areas where health services are sorely missing. The letter also noted that the arrest of the Morong 43 puts to risk health professionals and volunteer community health workers who serve the poor especially in far-flung areas of the country.
It read “for health professionals who may be considering the option of public service in the countryside, the incident is terrifying. For it is not only material comfort that one will be giving up when one chooses the selfless path of service to the poor, but possibly one’s life, as well. We are one with international and local organizations coming from various sectors in the call for an end to the persecution of the Morong 43 health workers and to continue the struggle for the people’s right to health.”
They urged the President Aquino to make true to his promise of genuine change by releasing the Morong 43.
The list of signatories also included Dr. Teresita Irigo-Barcelo of the Philippine Nurses Association, Dr. Leah Paquiz of Ang Nars, Dr. Alberto Roxas, Dean of UP College of Medicine and Dr. Sanchez, Dr. Executive Director of Association of Philippine Medical Colleges, and Dr. Reynaldo Lesaca, Chair-Emeritus of the Health Alliance for Democracy and a medical consultant at the National Kidney Transplant Institute.
Dr. Julie Caguiat said that they welcome the widespread support of health professionals coming from different sections of the health sector. “This shows that the case of the Morong 43 is indeed a collective issue of the health sector, an attack to any member of the medical community is an attack to the whole sector.”Caguiat said.
On the onset of the case, different health groups have already expressed their support including the APMC, College of Medicine of the University of the Philippines, Alliance of Health Workers, national organization of public hospital workers, and health groups abroad including the Alliance of Peoples Health (Canada), National Nurses United (USA), medical professionals from Belgium coordinated by Intal and acupuncture advocates from the United States.
Christine Van Rompuy, a nurse and sister of the European Union President Herman Van Rompuy also called for the release of the Morong 43. ###
Dr. Julie Caguiat
Spokesperson, FREE THE 43 HEALTH WORKERS ALLIANCE
Mobile – 0909 113 3038 / 0919 486 1580
Monday, October 18, 2010
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