Australian doctor Doc Adam Smith or Doc Adam asked Willie Ong, who previously announced his vice presidential bid, about his views on health issues in the country.
Ong, who boasts of 16 million followers on Facebook, was the chosen running mate of Manila Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso, presidential aspirant, in the coming elections.
The former senatorial candidate also has 6.55 million subscribers on his YouTube channel.
— Doc Adam (@docadamsmith) September 22, 2021
In an open letter on September 22, Doc Adam, also a doctor and YouTuber, expressed his disappointment over his fellow doctor over perceived lack of discussion on political health issues despite the latter’s large platform.
“Dr. Willie Ong has millions of followers on social media, however, disappointingly I have rarely seen him use his platform to discuss any political health issues or give his opinion on significant health problems in the Philippines,” he said.
Doc Adam cited some of Ong’s most popular videos are concerns about intimate parts of the body.
While he acknowledged these are also important, he said that Ong’s online influence could have been better used for more pressing health issues.
“I feel that there are more important health issues that could be addressed on the huge platform he has,” he said.
Doc Adam then proceeded to ask Ong about his views on the country’s worsening health care system such as the government’s pandemic response, the face shield policy, the exodus of nurses to other countries and the misuse of Department of Health funds.
“There are so many problems when it comes to health care in the Philippines. So so many,” Doc Adam said.
“Instead of Dr. Willie Ong spending time creating a musical and movie about his own life, I would prefer he makes videos on these really important topics,” he added.
Later, Doc Adam also addressed Ong’s supporters whom the former claimed to be from the older “boomer” generation.
“I want to clarify that I do think Dr. Willie Ong provides some sound and correct medical advice and the fact that he wants to reduce health care costs is great. But I just hope he uses his new opportunity and platform to make a real difference,” he said.
The foreign vlogger also clarified that the post was not to attack Ong.
Rather, he was expressing his two cents that the people who will be elected in the national polls should be the ones who can fix the country’s public health woes.
“I just hope that the people who get elected actually try to make some changes to a health system that’s clearly f*cked up which is allowing the poor to be exploited and manipulated by rich unscrupulous business men running amuck in the Philippines. Just my two cents,” Doc Adam said.
Doc Adam, who advocates against medical misinformation in the country, has a smaller following with one million followers on Facebook and 1.97 million subscribers on YouTube.
Some of Ong’s recent remarks on public health
Ong did provide some of his insights concerning the approach against COVID-19.
“Itong COVID, mahirap siya, pero ito ang gagawin. Ang health workers demoralized, ang sweldo nila, kailangan din nila ng recognition. Kapag na-COVID sila, dapat covered sila. Dapat mas maraming ospital. Sa bakuna, dapat may intent to order na tayo. Ang testing napakahalaga na libre,” he said during the launch of their election bids on September 22.
He also said he plan on releasing COVID-19 data every three days to avoid public’s “stress.”
This, however, will not change the statistics on additional COVID-19 deaths and infections per day.
“Gagawin natin siguro every three days lang (ang release). Hindi ko kayo iistress,” Ong said.