By Betheena Unite
Guidelines for emergency hiring of healthcare workers to augment workforce in select hospitals in the country to counter COVID-19 were released Monday.
Under the Department of Health Memorandum No. 2020-0153, which issues interim guidelines for emergency hiring of health personnel in select hospitals and other health facilities, health personnel will be hired as contract of service.
The massive emergency hiring will include physicians, nurses, medical technologists, respiratory therapists, radiologic technologists, medical equipment technicians (Mechanical Ventilator Technician), nursing attendants, administrative assistants, administrative aides, and other personnel, as may be necessary.
They will be deployed to DOH-designated COVID-19 referral hospitals like Philippine General Hospital (PGH), Lung Center of the Philippines (LCP), and Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital.
Hired healthcare workers will also be designated in temporary treatment and monitoring facilities for COVID-19, DOH-designated COVID-19 diagnostic facilities, public hospitals (national and local) handling COVID-19 patients, and private hospitals duly designated by the DOH to handle COVID-19 cases.
“The hiring of health personnel is primarily to augment our workforce in health facilities in the regions, provinces, or cities that manage COVID-19 cases,” Health Secretary Francisco Duque III said.
Duque furthered that the DOH Administrative Service-Personnel Administration Division (AD-PAD) will approve the hiring and deployment of health personnel based on the needs assessment submitted by the DOH facilities, or through their respective Centers for Health Development (CHD) or by the Ministry of Health of Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (MOH-BARMM). Upon approval, said facilities may proceed with the recruitment and hiring process.
Under the emergency hiring order, a health personnel will be entitled to a monthly salary compensation with 20 percent premium based on the basic salary, regardless of the number of quarantine days per month.
They will also be provided with protective personal equipment (PPEs); board and lodging while on duty or on quarantine; psychosocial support, as needed.
The hired healthcare workers will also be entitled with continuing professional development (CPD) units, which may be granted through Health Human Resource Development Bureau (HHRDB) certification; medico-legal assistance; and preferential evaluation for DOH vacancies, depending on qualifications. Priority will be given to those who signed up as volunteers for the COVID-19 response in DOH sites.
They will also receive a hazard pay amounting to P500 per day whether on duty or under required quarantine; GSIS group insurance (one time premium of P500): and a communication and transportation allowance of P1,000 every month.
In case of hospitalization, the healthcare worker under the Bayanihan We Heal As One Act, is entitled to PhilHealth hospitalization benefits. In case of infirmity due to COVID-19, the healthcare worker is entitled to P100,000 and P1,000,000 in case of death.
Public health workers, who are exposed to health risk in the light of the pandemic, are also eligible to receive one-time special risk allowance of up to 25 percent of their monthly basic pay, subject to the provisions of Administrative Order 28 released on April 6.
It was earlier revealed that an initial 857 health care workers will be deployed in the three designated COVID-19 referral hospitals.
“We are thankful for the health care workers who volunteered their expertise in this COVID-19 battle. Your heroism on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic is an inspiration to the government and to the Filipino people,” Secretary Duque expressed in a statement.