The Department of Health (DOH) is still having trouble filling reserved positions for required healthcare workers (HCWs) a year after the COVID-19 pandemic began.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said they have opened 10,568 positions for HCWs who will assist with hospitals and COVID-19 facilities.
The Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has approved its funding but currently, they have only hired 8,570 HCWs.
The DOH’s continued transmission of COVID-19 HCWs is an additional problem.
As of April 26, 17,377 HCWs have tested positive for COVID-19.
Of that number, 17,102 were recovered, 88 were killed and 187 more remain active cases.
Of the active cases, 129 were mild cases, 25 were asymptomatic, 14 were severe conditions, eight were critical conditions and 11 were moderate conditions.
Meanwhile, the DOH and the Philippine Nursing Association are studying if the nursing board exams this year could be conducted at an earlier date amid the lack of workforce to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
DOH faces difficulty in hiring healthcare workers
DOH Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire told Super Radyo dzBB that this is being considered since the number of applicants for hiring is still low.
“We’re having this challenge right now kasi ‘yung uptake rin po ng ating hiring ay medyo mabagal pero kami po ay nakikipag-usap na sa mga societies at saka sa mga universities so that we can get some more healthcare workers,” she said.
(We’re having this challenge right now because the uptake of our hiring is slow but we are talking to societies and universities so that we can get some more healthcare workers.)
“Ang isa nga pong aksyon na… pinag-uusapan, if we can, with the Philippine Nursing Association, kung pwedeng i-move ‘yung mga board exams na isasagawa na na-delay yata towards the end of the year para mas makakuha pa tayo ng additional cadres dito po sa ating mga ospital,” Vergeire added.
(One of the actions being discussed, if we can, with the Philippine Nursing Association, move the board exams that were delayed towards the end of the year for us to get additional cadres for our hospital.)