Department of Health (Philippines)
Overview
 
The Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

Department of Health (DOH) is the principal health agency in the Philippines. It is the executive department
Executive Departments of the Philippines
The Executive departments of the Philippines is the largest component of the national executive branch of the government of the Philippines. There are a total of nineteen executive departments. The departments comprise the largest part of the country's bureaucracy...

 of the Philippine Government responsible for ensuring access to basic public health
Public health
Public health is "the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through the organized efforts and informed choices of society, organizations, public and private, communities and individuals" . It is concerned with threats to health based on population health...

 services to all Filipinos through the provision of quality health care
Health care
Health care is the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease, illness, injury, and other physical and mental impairments in humans. Health care is delivered by practitioners in medicine, chiropractic, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, allied health, and other care providers...

 and the regulation of providers of health goods and services.
On September 29, 1898, the Americans established a military Board of Health with Dr.
Encyclopedia
The Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

Department of Health (DOH) is the principal health agency in the Philippines. It is the executive department
Executive Departments of the Philippines
The Executive departments of the Philippines is the largest component of the national executive branch of the government of the Philippines. There are a total of nineteen executive departments. The departments comprise the largest part of the country's bureaucracy...

 of the Philippine Government responsible for ensuring access to basic public health
Public health
Public health is "the science and art of preventing disease, prolonging life and promoting health through the organized efforts and informed choices of society, organizations, public and private, communities and individuals" . It is concerned with threats to health based on population health...

 services to all Filipinos through the provision of quality health care
Health care
Health care is the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease, illness, injury, and other physical and mental impairments in humans. Health care is delivered by practitioners in medicine, chiropractic, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, allied health, and other care providers...

 and the regulation of providers of health goods and services.

History

On September 29, 1898, the Americans established a military Board of Health with Dr. Frank S. Bourns as president. The purpose of this Board of Health was to care for injured American troops but as the hostilities between Filipinos and Americans waned in 1901, a civilian Board of Health was now deemed appropriate with Dr. L. M. Maus as the first health commissioner.

In the early 1900s, 200,222 lives including 66,000 children were lost; three percent of the population was decimated in the worst epidemic in Philippine health history. In view of this, the Americans organized and erected several institutions, including the Bureau of Governmental Laboratories, which was built in 1901 for medical research and vaccine production.

The Americans, led by Dean Worcester built the UP College of Medicine and Surgery in 1905, with Johns Hopkins University
Johns Hopkins University
The Johns Hopkins University, commonly referred to as Johns Hopkins, JHU, or simply Hopkins, is a private research university based in Baltimore, Maryland, United States...

 serving as a blueprint, at the time, one of the best medical schools in the world. By 1909, nursing instruction was also begun at the Philippine Normal School. In terms of public health, the Americans improved on the sewer system and provided a safer water supply.

In 1915, the Bureau of Health was reorganized and renamed into the Philippine Health Service. During the succeeding years leadership and a number of health institutions were already being given to Filipinos, in accordance with the Organic Act of 1916. On January 1, 1919, Dr. Vicente De Jesus became the first Filipino to head the Health portfolio.

In 1933, after a reorganization, the Philippine Health Service reverted to being known as the Bureau of Health. It was during this time that it pursued its official journal, The Health Messenger and established Community Health and Social Centers, precursors to today's Barangay Health Centers.

By 1936, as Governor-General Frank Murphy was assuming the post of United States High Commissioner
High Commissioner
High Commissioner is the title of various high-ranking, special executive positions held by a commission of appointment.The English term is also used to render various equivalent titles in other languages.-Bilateral diplomacy:...

, he would remark that the Philippines led all oriental countries in terms of health status.

When the Commonwealth of the Philippines
Commonwealth of the Philippines
The Commonwealth of the Philippines was a designation of the Philippines from 1935 to 1946 when the country was a commonwealth of the United States. The Commonwealth was created by the Tydings-McDuffie Act, which was passed by the U.S. Congress in 1934. When Manuel L...

 was inaugurated, Dr. Jose Fabella was named chief of the Bureau of Health. In 1936, Dr. Fabella reviewed the Bureau of Health’s organization and made an inventory of its existing facilities, which consisted of 11 community and social health centers, 38 hospitals, 215 puericulture centers, 374 sanitary divisions, 1,535 dispensaries and 72 laboratories.

In the 1940s, the Bureau of Health was reorganized into the Department of Health and Public Welfare, still under Fabella. During this time, the major priorities of the agency were tuberculosis
Tuberculosis
Tuberculosis, MTB, or TB is a common, and in many cases lethal, infectious disease caused by various strains of mycobacteria, usually Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Tuberculosis usually attacks the lungs but can also affect other parts of the body...

, malnutrition
Malnutrition
Malnutrition is the condition that results from taking an unbalanced diet in which certain nutrients are lacking, in excess , or in the wrong proportions....

, malaria
Malaria
Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease of humans and other animals caused by eukaryotic protists of the genus Plasmodium. The disease results from the multiplication of Plasmodium parasites within red blood cells, causing symptoms that typically include fever and headache, in severe cases...

, leprosy
Leprosy
Leprosy or Hansen's disease is a chronic disease caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium leprae and Mycobacterium lepromatosis. Named after physician Gerhard Armauer Hansen, leprosy is primarily a granulomatous disease of the peripheral nerves and mucosa of the upper respiratory tract; skin lesions...

, gastrointestinal disease, and the high infant mortality rate
Mortality rate
Mortality rate is a measure of the number of deaths in a population, scaled to the size of that population, per unit time...

.

When the Japanese occupied the Philippines, they dissolved the National Government and replaced it with the Central Administrative Organization of the Japanese Army
Imperial Japanese Army
-Foundation:During the Meiji Restoration, the military forces loyal to the Emperor were samurai drawn primarily from the loyalist feudal domains of Satsuma and Chōshū...

. Health was relegated to the Department of Education, Health and Public Welfare under Commissioner Claro M. Recto
Claro M. Recto
Claro Mayo Recto, Jr. , was a Filipino politician, jurist, poet and one of the foremost statesmen of his generation...

.

In 1947, President
President of the Philippines
The President of the Philippines is the head of state and head of government of the Philippines. The president leads the executive branch of the Philippine government and is the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of the Philippines...

 Manuel Roxas
Manuel Roxas
Manuel Acuña Roxas was the first president of the independent Third Republic of the Philippines and fifth president overall. He served as president from the granting of independence in 1946 until his abrupt death in 1948...

 signed Executive Order (E.O.) No. 94 into law, calling for the creation of the Department of Health. Dr. Antonio C. Villarama as appointed Secretary. A new Bureau of Hospitals and a Bureau of Quarantine was created under DOH. Under E.O. 94, the Institute of Nutrition was created in 1948 to coordinate various nutrition activities of the different agencies.

On February 20, 1958, Executive Order 288 provided for the reorganization of the Department of Health. This entailed a partial decentralization of powers and created eight Regional Health Offices. Under this setup, the Secretary of Health passed on some of responsibilities to the regional offices and directors.

One of the priorities of the Marcos administration was health maintenance. From 1975 to the mid-eighties, four specialty hospitals were built in succession. The first three institutions were spearheaded by First Lady
First Lady of the Philippines
The First Lady/ Gentleman of the Philippines is the unofficial title of the hostess/host of the Malacañang Palace, the nation's residence of its head of state...

 Imelda Marcos
Imelda Marcos
Imelda R. Marcos is a Filipino politician and widow of 10th Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos. Upon the ascension of her husband to political power, she held various positions to the government until 1986...

. The Philippine Heart Center
Philippine Heart Center
The Philippine Heart Center in Quezon City was established through Presidential Decree No. 673 issued by president Ferdinand E. Marcos in 1975. Its original name was the Philippine Heart Center for Asia and was changed to its current form in 1975. It was inaugurated on Valentine's Day, February 14,...

 was established on February 14, 1975 with Dr. Avelino Aventura as director. Second, the Philippine Children’s Medical Center was built in 1979. Then in 1983, the National Kidney and Transplant Institute was set up. This was soon followed by the Lung Center of the Philippines, which was constructed under the guidance of Health Minister Dr. Enrique Garcia
Enrique García
Enrique García was an Argentine football left winger who won the Copa América on two occasions with the Argentina national team."Chueco" García was born on 20 November 1912 in Santa Fe...

.

With a shift to a parliamentary form of government, the Department of Health was transformed into the Ministry of Health on June 2, 1978 with Dr. Clemente S. Gatmaitan as the first health minister. On April 13, 1987, the Department of Health was created from the previous Ministry of Health with Dr. Alfredo R. A. Bengzon as secretary of health.

List of Secretaries of Health

Name Term Began Term Ended President
Fifth Republic of the Philippines
Alfredo Bengzon  1987 1991 Corazon Aquino
Corazon Aquino
Maria Corazon Sumulong Cojuangco-Aquino was the 11th President of the Philippines and the first woman to hold that office in Philippine history. She is best remembered for leading the 1986 People Power Revolution, which toppled Ferdinand Marcos and restored democracy in the Philippines...

Antonio Periquet 1991 June 30, 1992 Corazon Aquino
Corazon Aquino
Maria Corazon Sumulong Cojuangco-Aquino was the 11th President of the Philippines and the first woman to hold that office in Philippine history. She is best remembered for leading the 1986 People Power Revolution, which toppled Ferdinand Marcos and restored democracy in the Philippines...

Juan Flavier
Juan Flavier
Juan Martin Flavier is a former politician from the Philippines. He was a former Secretary of the Department of Health and a senator. He was born in Tondo, Manila eventually moving to Baguio City where he finished his secondary studies at the Baguio City High School...

 
June 30, 1992 1995 Fidel Ramos
Jaime Galvez-Tan 1995 1995 Fidel Ramos
Hilarion Ramiro, Jr. 1995 1996 Fidel Ramos
Carmencita Reodica 1996 1998 Fidel Ramos
Felipe Estrella 1998 1998 Joseph Estrada
Joseph Estrada
Joseph "Erap" Ejercito Estrada was the 13th President of the Philippines, serving from 1998 until 2001. Estrada was the first person in the Post-EDSA era to be elected both to the presidency and vice-presidency.Estrada gained popularity as a film actor, playing the lead role in over 100 films in...

Alberto Romualdez 1998 January 20, 2001 Joseph Estrada
Joseph Estrada
Joseph "Erap" Ejercito Estrada was the 13th President of the Philippines, serving from 1998 until 2001. Estrada was the first person in the Post-EDSA era to be elected both to the presidency and vice-presidency.Estrada gained popularity as a film actor, playing the lead role in over 100 films in...

Manuel Dayrit January 20, 2001 June 1, 2005 Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is a Filipino politician who served as the 14th President of the Philippines from 2001 to 2010, as the 12th Vice President of the Philippines from 1998 to 2001, and is currently a member of the House of Representatives representing the 2nd District of Pampanga...

Francisco Duque III
Francisco Duque
Francisco Duque, III, Philippine Secretary of Health, was born on February 13, 1957 in Manila. He started as director at the University of Pangasinan from 1989–1999; then as Medical Director at the Doctor's Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in Veterans Village, Parañaque City from 1996–1999, among others...

 
June 1, 2005 January 2010 Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is a Filipino politician who served as the 14th President of the Philippines from 2001 to 2010, as the 12th Vice President of the Philippines from 1998 to 2001, and is currently a member of the House of Representatives representing the 2nd District of Pampanga...

Esperanza Cabral
Esperanza Cabral
Esperanza A. Icasas Cabral was the Secretary of the Department of Health in the Philippines. She took office in January 2010 replacing Dr. Francisco Duque after his appointment as head of the Civil Service Commission. Before her appointment as Secretary of Health, she was previously the Secretary...

 
January 2010 June 30, 2010 Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo is a Filipino politician who served as the 14th President of the Philippines from 2001 to 2010, as the 12th Vice President of the Philippines from 1998 to 2001, and is currently a member of the House of Representatives representing the 2nd District of Pampanga...

Enrique Ona
Enrique Ona
Enrique T. Ona is the current Philippine Secretary of Health. On June 29, 2010, President Benigno Aquino III picked him as his Secretary of Health.-Background:Dr. Ona hails from Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur...

 
June 30, 2010 Present Benigno Aquino III
Benigno Aquino III
Benigno Simeon Cojuangco Aquino III , also known as Noynoy Aquino or PNoy, is a Filipino politician who has been the 15th and current President of the Philippines since June 2010....


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