DOH says it values nurses’ role in fight vs COVID-19

Published October 22, 2021, 8:02 PM

by Jhon Aldrin Casinas

The Department of Health (DOH) said Friday, Oct. 22, that it values the role of nurses in the country’s fight against coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Over 100 doctors and nurses from San Miguel Corporation (SMC) were deployed to 11 Metro Manila vaccination sites that include Mandaluyong City, Malabon City, and Quezon City to help the government in its intensified COVID-19 vaccine rollout. (MB/ FILE PHOTO)

The Health department made the statement amid reports that nurses are leaving the country to search for better career opportunities reportedly due to lack of government support.

“We value the role of nurses in this fight against COVID-19 and in the realization of the Universal Healthcare Act,” the DOH said in a statement.

“In line with this, the DOH fought together with other government agencies towards the proper implementation of the Nursing Act,” it added.

Likewise, the DOH said that it ensured the provision of healthcare worker benefits under the Bayanihan laws, totalling to P16.759 billion as of Sept. 30, or around 9 to 10 percent of the department’s COVID-19 funds per annum.

The department has also proposed a revised hospital staffing pattern to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to improve patient:Human Resources for Health (HRH) ratio in government hospitals, it added.

According to the DOH, the migration of health workers such as nurses to more developed countries due to better career opportunities is not only happening in the Philippines but is common in many developing nations.

“The Department respects the individual’s freedom and choices of health workers in the pursuit of better career opportunities,” it said.

“However in recognition of the important role of HCWs in our health systems, the DOH has come up with strategic plans to address the HRH out migration problem,” it added.