Around 15,000 healthcare workers are still needed to supplement the existing workforce as the Philippines continues to grapple with a rise of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases, a health official said on Thursday.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said they have requested additional funds from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) for their emergency hiring program.
“Sa panahong ito, ang budget para sa 857 health workers pa lang ang naaaprubahan ng ating DBM,” she said, referring to the initial batch of healthcare workers deployed to COVID-19 referral centers.
Vergeire also said that the Department of Health has realigned P7.9 million pesos for the salary and benefits of staff at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, the country’s national reference laboratory and biggest COVID-19 testing center.
Meanwhile, the DOH is currently processing the requests of seven healthcare institutions for a total of 701 additional health workers.
“Base sa pitong requests na ito, 701 slots ang sinisimulan nang i-proseso para sa Lung Center of the Philippines, Philippine General Hospital, Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital, at Research Institute for Tropical Medicine,” she said.
The DOH will also send off 639 nurses to attend to COVID-19 patients nationwide under their nurse deployment program.
Of this number, 192 will be deployed to Luzon, while 447 will be sent to Visayas and Mindanao.
Healthcare workers interested in the emergency hiring program may visit www.bit.ly/EmergencyHiringFAQs. -MDM, GMA News