DOH sees end to harassment of healthcare workers

Mayen Jaymalin - The Philippine Star
DOH sees end to harassment of healthcare workers
DOH previously condemned acts of discrimination and harassment against health workers.
Michael Varcas / File

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) sees an end to harassment and violence against health workers and persons under investigation (PUI) for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) with the passage of an anti-discrimination ordinance.

“This is a necessary step towards avoiding unfair treatment and crimes against our countrymen who are victims of this virus, including our frontliners who are instrumental in our fight against COVID-19,” said Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire, as she commended the Manila city government for issuing the anti-discrimination ordinance for frontliners, PUIs and persons under monitoring (PUM).

DOH previously condemned acts of discrimination and harassment against health workers.

“Our healthcare workers and other frontliners are helping our country survive this crisis. Instead of turning our backs on them and hurting them because we are scared of getting infected, we need to give them thanks and celebrate them. There is no match for their dedication and service to our country,” Vergeire pointed out.

According to Vergeire, health workers are among those to be prioritized in the mass testing for COVID-19, which the government will implement starting April 14.

“We need to prioritize the vulnerable members of the population such as pregnant women, those who are immunocompromised, and our frontline health workers who have the highest exposure to the virus,” Vergeire said during the Beat COVID-19 virtual presser Saturday afternoon.

Beginning Tuesday, the DOH expects to conduct 3,000 tests per day, and increase the capacity to 8,000, and even as much as 10,000 tests per day by the end of April.

With expanded testing, Vergeire said, the DOH expects to get a fuller assessment of the public health situation.

Meanwhile, workers who get infected with COVID-19 while doing their job can avail themselves of temporary disability and other benefits, the Employees Compensation Commission (ECC) reported yesterday.

Government workers, ECC said, who have been diagnosed as COVID-19 positive or declared as PUI may apply for benefits with the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), while those from the private sector may apply with the Social Security System (SSS) to receive the additional compensation.

Private  sector workers,  the Commission said, will receive a maximum amount of P480 daily sickness benefit for up to a maximum of 120 days.




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