Amid calls to lift deployment ban, DOH official says PH 'needs more' healthcare workers

Published June 16, 2021, 5:40 PM

by Analou de Vera

(Kevin Tristan Espiritu / The Medical City / File photo /MANILA BULLETIN)

The country’s need for healthcare workers (HCWs) should first be prioritized, an official of the Department of Health (DOH) said.

DOH Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega said that the country needs more healthcare workers amid its fight against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

“As of now ho, ngayon, nangangailangan talaga na marami sa mga provinces na mga healthcare workers lalo na itong augmentation para ho masagot itong pandemic na ito (As of now, many of the provinces really need healthcare workers in order to respond to this pandemic),” said Vega on Wednesday, June 16.

“So, ito iyong unang ginagawa namin kaya uunahin po natin iyong deployment po ng ating mga nurses po dito sa pangangailangan sa Pilipinas (So, this is what we’re doing, we will prioritize the deployment of our nurses here in the Philippines),” he added.

Vega made the statement when asked about the DOH’s reaction to the appeal of the Filipino Nurses United (FNU) to lift the deployment ban for healthcare workers.

“The FNU finds it outrageous that the government while failing or unwilling to provide just wages and decent incentives to nurses at this time of a health and economic crisis, would even deprive them of their right to seek better opportunities overseas,” the group said in a statement on Tuesday, June 15.

“The FNU calls on the government to immediately lift the deployment ban and respect the right of nurses and other health workers to seek better work opportunities abroad,” it added.