DOH wants to keep deployment cap on health workers

DOH wants to keep deployment cap on health workers
Health workers from the government-run Philippine General Hospital hold placards as they ask the government to release their risk allowances amid rising Covid-19 coronavirus infections, in Manila on August 26, 2021.
AFP / Ted Aljibe

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health said Thursday it wants the government to keep the deployment cap on healthcare workers to address manpower shortages in medical facilities across the archipelago.

In a briefing Thursday, health officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said the country lacks around 106,000 nurses. The Philippines also faces a shortage of physicians, pharmacists, radiologic technologists, medical technologists, midwives, physical therapists and dentists.

“Hanggang sa kulang pa ang production ng ating bansa sa mga specific healthcare worker professions na ito, sana ‘yung deployment cap natin ay manatili lamang sa ganun,” Vergeire said.

(As long as the production in these specific health professions is sufficient, we hope our deployment cap will remain as it is.)

The annual deployment cap on newly-hired healthcare workers was raised to 7,000 early this year.

The health department is scheduled to meet with the heads of the Department of Migrant Workers and the Department of Labor and Employment to discuss offering incentives that will make medical workers stay in the country.

The Filipino Nurses United is pushing for a basic salary of P50,000 a month to prevent healthcare workers from leaving the Philippines. It said an entry salary of P50,000 a month for nurses both in private and public health facilities will enable them to "live decently commensurate to their crucial role in health promotion and protection of our fellow Filipinos."

According to Vergeire, the agency has more than 2,000 unfiled plantilla positions for nurses, midwives, and dentists.

"Kailangan po namin ang tulong niyo sa ngayon para mag-continue po ang operations ng bawat facility dito sa ating bansa," she said.

(We need your help right now so the operations of every facility in our country can continue.) — Gaea Katreena Cabico




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