The Department of Health (DOH) revealed Monday that it is looking to hire more health professionals but there is a significant lack of applicants.
“Unfortunately talagang hirap na hirap kami. Madaming posisyon, may pera ang Bayanihan fund kaya lang walang takers. Wala masyadong nagkukuha ng slots na meron tayo,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said during a virtual briefing.
Vergeire said this following questions from reporters regarding health workers’ status and the need for more of them due to the surging COVID-19 cases in the country.
The Health undersecretary said admitted that the hiring process has been challenging for the most part.
Sunday’s situationer report suggests 6,002 positions of the 8,810 slots for emergency hiring in 336 health facilities have already been filled up. Nearly half will be stations for DOH hospitals.
“Nung una marami talagang takers. Pero ngayon I think nae-exhaust natin especially here in Metro Manila. Kaya tumitingin pa tayo kung anong ways to increase or augment health workers, especially in hospitals,” Vergeire said.
Vergeire noted that the DOH will coalesce with universities and institutions to tap their respective graduates.
Vergaire reminded health workers of their commitment to serve.
“Sana sa panahon na ito, oo natatakot tayo pero magbigay trust tayo na aalagaan naman kayo. Pangalawa ‘yun lang commitment na para makatulong sa bayan,” she said.
The Health Department recently received criticism after it sent doctors to private hospitals in the barrios of Cebu City. Doctors to the Barrios Batches 36-ALAB and 37-MANDALA disapproved the move and got on social media to express their concern regarding the need of doctors in hard-to-reach areas.
Netizens have offered explanations on why there have been so few healthcare workers applying to help combat COVID-19.
Firstly, there are no weekly swab tests for health workers. Secondly, the people who attended the SONA were prioritized over healthcare workers.
I’ll give you one reason, weekly swab test nga di nyo maprovide for HCWs ee.
Inuna nyo pa ung aattend sa SONA, at kayang kaya naman pala ang 24 hours para marelease ang result. 🤷🏻♂️
Anyway, bakit nga sila naswab? Symptomatic? Exposed sa positive? Or VIP? 🤷🏻♂️ pic.twitter.com/sp3JaviSQH
— Lui MD ⚕#LetLeniLead (@luimandapat) July 29, 2020
One netizen pointed out that the cons outweigh the pros for healthcare workers. They don’t get paid enough to fight against the deadly disease. Some don’t even get the promised benefits and hazard pays.
Also the promised salaries and benefits such as hazard pay weren't released to some who applied during the initial call for doctors/nurses to combat COVID19. How do they expect other healthcare workers to apply if the initial feedback wasn't great??
— Amari (@aehartio) July 30, 2020
Another netizen thinks that the salary should see a significant increase.
DOH, hindi excuse yan. Para kayong batang nagsusumbong sa statement nyo
Taasan nyo sweldo dagdagan sign up bonus, OT, night differential, 100% medical and burial benefits plus monthly allowance GAMITIN ANG 275B COVID fund tapos ayusin ang mass testing pra di maoverwhelm ang hosp
— SuperYou Mom (@superhumom_shey) July 30, 2020
The lack of PPEs remains a problem nationwide.
Natural!!Hindi niyo nga kayang protektahan mga Doctors and Nurses. Simpleng mask at PPE hindi niyo mabigyan.Tapos ang mga magagaling na nakaupo sa Gobyerno walang ginawa kundi magnakaw at payamanin ang sarili, ika nga ni BATO “sarap ng buhay” habang ang mga Frontliners namamatay.
— mountmayon (@mountmayonph) July 30, 2020
Healthcare workers are still dying from COVID-19 to this day. One netizen says it’s better to start a food business than exposing oneself to the deadly disease.