DOH hiring 15,000 additional health workers

The Department of Health (DOH) will be hiring more than 15,000 health workers to augment the number of frontliners in the country’s fight against COVID-19.

“To boost the number of healthcare frontliners, the DBM (Department of Budget and Management) has approved the request of the DOH (Department of Health) for the engagement of an additional 15,757 healthcare professionals under contract of service for a period of three months,” President Duterte said in a report submitted to Congress last Monday.

DOH originally asked for a P5.2 billion budget to hire 17,757 personnel, but the DBM only approved P2.7-billion for additional health workers, Duterte’s report said.

Duterte also reported that as of April 22, seven hospitals requested DOH for emergency hiring of healthcare personnel and has approved 701 slots for hiring in five hospitals.

DOH hiring 15,000 additional health workers

DOH redeploy a total of 639 nurses to its office and local hospitals handling COVID-19 cases. Meanwhile, a total of 130 healthcare staff underwent training to collect and encode case data. Of that number, 14 are now employed to 12 hospitals in Metro Manila.
“This number is expected to increase as 97 HRH (human resources for health) were scheduled for deployment to 51 hospitals last 24 April 2020,” the President said in the report.
Duterte also reported a total of 1,101 COVID-referral hospitals had been designated nationwide and that each region has at least one hospital as of April 23. These hospitals allotted a total of 7,732 beds for coronavirus cases. There is a total of 1,381 mechanical ventilators for both private and public hospitals.

DBM also approved and issued a particular allotment release order for P45.717 billion to cover the funding requirements for DOH’s COVID-19 response, said Duterte, in his report.

A total of P1.35 billion was allotted buying of 1,500 units of mechanical ventilators for DOH hospitals, the Philippine General Hospital, and selected local government and military hospitals.

Duterte earlier announced that he would give P20 million reward for any Filipino who would develop a local respirator. He also promised to buy more protective equipment for frontliners.

“We still lack (protective equipment), we are still in the process of buying several protective personal protection kits for our frontliners and medical people. I am informed that this will be completed in due time,” he said.