Ex-DOH chief Romualdez passes away-A A +A
Friday, October 18, 2013
FORMER Department of Health (DOH) secretary Alberto Romualdez passed away Friday noon while confined at the Manila Doctors’ Hospital in Manila. He was 73.
In his Twitter account, DOH spokesperson Dr. Eric Tayag extended his condolences to the family of Romualdez, who had served as health secretary during the administration of former president and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada.
"DOH is saddened by the death of former Sec Alberto Romualdez Jr., who steered the health sector reform agenda," said Tayag.
"Our prayers and condolences," he further wrote in his Twitter account.
Prior to his death, Romualdez was reported to be battling lymphoma.
He was reportedly brought to the hospital last Monday after having a heart attack.
Details of his wake are not yet available as of press time.
Romualdez had served as DOH secretary from September 1998 until January 2001.
During his tenure, he chose to prioritize the improvement of efficiency in the use of resources away from graft issues; to improve access to health services especially to those underserved for reasons of geography or economy; and to review the strengths and weaknesses of the DOH's organizational structure within the framework of devolution as mandated by the Local Government Code.
Romualdez is a graduate of Doctor of Medicine from the University of the Philippines and Bachelor of Arts in Biological Sciences from the Ateneo de Manila University.
He is a fellow on Tumor Immunology at the University of Connecticut and Membrane Biophysics at the Harvard Medical School in the United States of America.
In the DOH, Romualdez started as a Medical Adviser to the then Minister of Health from 1979 to 1982 before becoming the director of the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine from 1981 to 1984.
Romualdez was subsequently appointed as Assistant Secretary in 1988 but he opted to work for the World Health Organization's (WHO) Western Pacific Region holding position as acting then regional adviser in Development of Human Resources of Health and director of Health Services, Development and Planning.
From June 1996 until his appointment as DOH chief, he was the Medical Director of the HCA Philippines, Inc. and at the same time consultant of the WHO and the DOH.
In recent years, Romualdez had been active in pushing for the passage of the controversial reproductive health (RH) law. (HDT/Sunnex)