CORONAVIRUS disease (Covid-19), human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and tuberculosis (TB).

These are the three priority health issues that have been ordered resolved by President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. to newly appointed Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Teodoro Herbosa.

In a televised public briefing, Herbosa said he has been given the marching orders to resolve the three communicable diseases still prevalent in the country.

"I already created 'action officers,' which will be focusing on the problems of TB, HIV, and Covid," said Herbosa.

"These are the marching orders of the President so we are really focused on these problems," he added.

Herbosa said Marcos wants the country to have an "exit plan" for Covid-19.

"He wants an 'exit plan' so we can already come out of this Covid-19, while continuing these necessary vaccines, particularly the bivalent vaccines," said Herbosa.

As for HIV, he said Marcos wants to address the increasing transmission among the youth.

"He was asking why do we have many youths acquiring HIV. That is true because the World Health Organization informed us that we are one of the countries with very high rate of transmission," he noted.

He said Marcos wants to improve the country's global status as far as TB is concerned.

"He wants us to get out of the top 10 in tuberculosis numbers so we will also focus on doing that," said Herbosa.

Aside from the marching orders of Marcos, the health chief said he is looking to make healthcare services more efficient by pushing for digitalization.

He said this is in accordance with the Marcos administration's aim to fully digitalize government services.

"I plan to make the department fully digital in terms of financing procurement, delivery of services, such as telemedicine, digital health, and digital methodology," said Herbosa.

"This way, we will be more efficient and the funds allocated for the people's health will truly be beneficial to the people," he added.

Herbosa was appointed by Marcos as the Secretary of Health late Monday. (HDT/SunStar Philippines)