San Lazaro Hospital nurses hold silent protest, renew calls for better working conditions
Image shows shoes laid out by medical staff in front of the San Lazaro Hospital building.
Facebook/Jaymmee de Guzman
San Lazaro Hospital nurses hold silent protest, renew calls for better working conditions
( - July 17, 2020 - 10:59am

MANILA, Philippines — A number of San Lazaro Hospital nurses on Thursday staged a silent protest outside the COVID-19 referral facility's building to renew their plea for better working conditions.

The medical frontliners laid their shoes out in front of the SLH building to express their discontent, GMA's "24 Oras" reported.

This demonstration follows a statement the nurses made on July 10, which contained allegations against SLH management for understaffing, underpaying, overworking and insufficiently protecting its own employees.

READ: Nurses plead for relief as 40 San Lazaro workers test positive for COVID-19 | San Lazaro Hospital management defends itself amid complaints from nurses

On July 13, the hospital's management released its own statement wherein it "acknowledged with utmost importance the dedication of our nursing staff all through the years of facing several outbreaks and epidemic," but went on to deny almost every claim made by its nurses.

Nurses conducted the silent protest to renew their pleas for sufficient supply of personal protective equipment (PPEs) and to ask management to give their salaries during their mandatory 14-day quarantine.

SLH management on Monday claimed that the facility had enough PPEs and N95 masks stocked to last the month and that it is "compliant in the giving of salaries and benefits in accordance to budget appropriation and guidelines.

The hospital's nurses said that 40 SLH workers have been infected with the deadly respiratory disease as of July 10 but alleged that only half of these have been admitted and confined due to limited hospital capacity. They added that the rest, who are asymptomatic and self-quarantined, are waiting for vacant beds.

Hospital management responded by saying this figure is cumulative of the total number of infections since March. — Bella Perez-Rubio

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