An Interview With DOH Sec. Janette Garin

"The satisfaction that you get in giving life" was one of the many inspiring words I heard from DOH Sec Janette Garin during an intimate interview. For the last 19 months, she worked on programs which focuses on public health, broadened partnerships and introduced systems that make the Department of Health more effective and efficient.

Woman In Digital meets DOH Sec Janette Garin
Woman In Digital meets DOH Sec Janette Garin
For me the Department of Health is more than just Zika virus cure, dengue vaccines, HIV-AIDS. It's a big government agency with a long list of responsibilities from the basic health needs like dissemination of the importance of cleanliness in the places we live in to prevention of disease and illnesses and control of communicable disease, implementation of health programs and allotment of funds.

The spectrum on health has changed over the years. For example, Infant death mortality decreased based on DOH Infant death rate from a high of 73.1 deaths per 1,000 births in 1960 to 12.6 in 2010. Even maternal death rates went down through providing health education to our mommies especially in the far flung areas. These and more are included in the health plan of the Department of Health headed by Secretary Janette Garin.

DOH Sec Garin is not just a doctor but had been a legislator for nine years leading the Magna Carta for Women, Cheaper Medicine Law, the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Law among others. Sec Garin advocates women, children and the elderly. As a parliamentarian, she was a champion of various legislative initiatives that help women and address gender gaps.

An Interview With DOH Sec Janette Garin
Universal Health Care Plan
A lot of health issues were discussed, in summary let me share to you these information and what DOH Sec. Garin has achieved:

  1. Initiated the development of a strategy to fast-track program implementation and further the agency's in maternal, infant and under-five care.
  2. Control of HIV-AIDS and establish service delivery networks.
  3. Provided the platform for the DOH school-based immunization program, the most recent was the dengue vaccination for over a million 9-year old grade 4 public school students in NCR, Regions III and IV-A
  4. Revived Philippine Blood Centers thus improving National Voluntary Blood Services program
  5. Improvement of different PhilHealth Packages to improve benefit delivery and utilization to all Filipinos.
  6. Introduction of dengue, polio (inactivated polio vaccine), cervical cancer, measles-rubella-tetanus-diptheria, and rabies. It used to be available only in the private sector.
  7. Increasing PhilHealth coverage of general population. Reaching 100% coverage of the poor, 5.8 M senior citizens.
  8. Health Facilities Enhancement Program with the goal of improving quality of LGU hospitals and decongest tertiary and speacialty hospitals. 2015 PhilHealth Accredited hospitals and health care facilities. 1,887 hospitals / 1,739 TB-DOTS centers / 2,981 Maternity Care Clinics / 2,553 PCB providers

There are many issues and plans we still would like to ask our DOH Sec Garin, perhaps if given another opportunity. Do you also have questions for her? What do you think of our present Department of Health? Perhaps, there's a medical case that needed to see in your place? You may leave a comment here or for more information, you may also visit the Department of Health website here.

" Mas gusto ko tawagin na doktor kesa pulitiko. I was pushed back to politics. I guess it was destined. I look at it as a privilege and opportunity to equip myself with knowledge..." - Dr. Janette Garin

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