PGH faces manpower shortage as COVID-19 infections soar

Published September 13, 2021, 11:44 AM

by Gabriela Baron

The Philippine General Hospital (PGH) is facing a manpower shortage as coronavirus disease (COVID-19) infections in the country continue to soar.

Philippine General Hospital (Wikimedia Commons / MB file photo)

In an interview with ANC on Monday, Sept. 13, PGH Spokesperson Dr. Jonas del Rosario said the state-run hospital continues to grapple with staff shortage as some of their health workers “getting sick.”

“Nararamdaman namin yung problema namin sa manpower. A lot of our healthcare workers are getting sick also. Marami na ring pagod, some are also exposed to the virus, so some of them had to take the mandatory quarantine (We are experiencing manpower shortage. A lot of our healthcare workers are getting sick as well. Many are tired, some are also exposed to the virus, so they had to take mandatory quarantine),” del Rosario said.

“A lot of patients are coming in, we’re operating on fully capacity, talagang stretched out ang aming manpower (our manpower is really stretched out),” he added.

Del Rosario said he hopes COVID-19 booster shots could eventually be made available for health workers as they are considered as “high-risk” for the virus.

“It’s so hard to demand in a situation wherein about 70 percent of the population has not even received a single dose, so medyo malaking inequality,” he added.

“[Since our health workers are exposed to COVID-19 patients], I think that can be used as a reason, kasi (because) we have a situation na talagang high-risk exposure ang aming frontliners (our frontliners get high-risk exposure).”

He noted that most of PGH’s vaccinated health workers who had breakthrough COVID-19 infections only experienced mild symptoms, stressing that “vaccine protected them.”

Del rosario said the PGH is eyeing to hire private practitioners to augment their manpower.

“It’s hard to open up more beds, more wards if we do not have the right doctors to take care of them. A lot of our patients are severely ill, they really demand specialists.”