Deaths caused by illnesses other than the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) quadrupled during March and April, Secretary Carlito Galvez Jr. said Monday.
“Ayon po sa datos, meron po tayong top 10 leading causes of death in the Philippines at nakita po natin dito ‘yung heart disease, ‘yung cancer, chronic respiratory [illness], saka diabetes,” he said in a televised briefing from Malacañang.
“Sa ating datos no’ng March saka April, times four po ang casualty natin sa mga non-COVID cases kaya ang ginagawa natin sa stratehiya natin ay pinalalakas natin ‘yung preparation natin sa mga renal patient katulad po no’ng ginawa natin sa Cebu,” Galvez added.
The Philippine General Hospital's Cancer Institute earlier bared that the COVID-19 pandemic hampered the delivery of services to cancer patients.
The National Kidney and Transplant Institute likewise said the pandemic forced it to suspend organ donation and transplants to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
The Economist also ranked the Philippines last in the Asia Pacific Region for cancer preparedness.
Galvez said it is “high time” to modernize the country’s healthcare system.
“Kailangan po talaga, on my personal opinion, kailangan na po nating i-modernize ang ating healthcare system. Matagal na pong napabayaan ang ating healthcare system kaya ngayon nakikita natin na malaki ang ating gap na hinaharap,” he said.—NB/LDF, GMA News