I am delighted- and honored- to be invited to this evening’s Association of Philippine Physicians in America and the Philippine Medical Association (APPA and PMA) Joint Congress 2015!
And I say this without reservation, because I am in such good health that none of you is likely ever to get his or her forceps and scalpels on me.
Of course, even the healthist people eventually pass away. They die naturally- and “a natural death,” as the little boy wrote on his examination paper, “is where you die by yourself, without a doctor’s help”.
I am energized by your congress theme “Partnership in Advancing healthcare in the Philippines. . .” And this is the most appropriate message that could come from this distuinguished association of Fili-pino medical professionals based in the United States and the Phil-ippines than anyone of us might think.
And the reason-as we all know only too well – is that so many of our doctors, dentists, nurs-es, other healthgiv-ers and, of course, caregivers are leaving our country for greener pastures overseas.
BASIC EDUCATION AND HEALTH CARE OUR MAIN CONCERNS
In my view, it is basic education and primary health care that should be our most urgent – our most immediate –priorities.
Public investments in health and nutrition are well-returned by higher productivity and increased income ﬂows in future years.
As you know better than I do, simple and relatively low-cost medical technologies can do a great deal to improve people’s health- especially the well- being of infants and children.
During my Presidency, we all saw the simple but consistent suc-cessus the Department of Health (DOH) was able to achieve under the ledearship of the late, great Doctor/ Senator Juan Flavier, particularly in primary healthcare.
For instance, Dr. Johnny’s DOH demonstrated the efﬁcacy of vaccination against measles as a killer of children; that of oral rehydration therapy against diarrhea in infants; and the nbeneﬁts of iodized salt for preventing iodine deﬁciency which is the leading – but so easily preventable- cause of mental retardation.
NO RETIRING FROM THE DUTIES OF CITIZENSHIP
I have, as you know, retired from public life. But I have not retired ed to the Mainland China. This move ignited the youth. This was however withdrawn after the rallies became violent.
Or this could be part of a bigger picture where the youth are fu-elled and funded by countries and people opposed to China like UK, US, Taiwan and even the disgruntled politicians in the mainland. Openly,
they cannot surface. My guest is this last one.
from my duties as a concerned citizen.
Here at home, I freely express my opinion on public affairs- praising what I regard as praise-worthy and castigating what I believe to be condemnable – including incumbent ofﬁcials. As a concerned citizen, I consider it my continuing duty to do so- as I believe you as successful professionals should likewise consider it yours.
For we cannot live and work only for opurselves, our private interests. No, because we must also work and perform our civic duty as responsible Filipinos or Filipino-Americans: ﬁrst, to contribute our modest share in the development of our one and only motherland, the Philippines; and second, to enable our successor generations to do better and achieve greater goals than us once their time to assume family, professional, or national responsibilities comes- as we did for our own elders and predecessors during our prime.
Kaya ba natin ito???
Thank you and Mabuhay- Best
Wishes to all!!!
By Fidel V. Ramos