By Czarina Nicole Ong Ki
The Filipino people’s health depends on how the government cares for its healthcare workers. This is what the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) said as the country continues its fight against the coronavirus disease 19 (COVID-19) pandemic.
CHR spokesperson Atty. Jacqueline Ann de Guia said that healthcare workers provide an invaluable contribution during this pandemic, so the government needs to prioritize their health and welfare in this state of national health emergency.
“The likelihood of infection of our medical staff is higher than the general population as they are the most exposed to the virus,” said de Guia.
Now that the government has mobilized additional funds to combat COVID-19, the CHR is demanding that they invest in the protection of healthcare workers and equip health facilities to accommodate the increasing number of infections.
There is still a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) for health workers, which is a major concern. “Our medical staff are waiting for such equipment while already attending to patients who may be infected. The government should ensure the speedy and enough provision of these requirements,” stressed de Guia.
At the same time, these health workers are also worried about infecting their families. As a result, they not only face exhaustion from work but also undue stress and pressure whenever they go home.
De Guia said these health workers deserve the best support from the government. She said there is a need to “pass and amend pieces of legislation that give premium to the service that both public and private health workers provide.”
“Apart from hazard pay, they deserve salary hikes and other protection measures that guarantee their sound health and safety,” she continued.
Through these simple gestures, de Guia said the government would be showing its appreciation to health workers and caretakers as they work tirelessly to save lives.