The Philippines is currently facing a shortage of healthcare workers, particularly of nurses, the Department of Health (DOH) bared on Thursday, Sept. 29
“Ngayon, ang nakikita natin talagang kakulangan would be our nurses (Now, what we are seeing is that we lack nurses),” said DOH Officer-in-Charge Maria Rosario Vergeire in a press briefing.
“We have a shortage or a gap of around 106,000 para mapunuan natin yung mga facilities natin (We have a shortage or a gap of around 106,000 so that we can fill our facilities) all over the country, both public and private,” she added.
The country is also struggling with shortage of doctors, especially in far-flung areas, said Vergeire.
Aside from doctors and nurses, Vergeire also noted that the Philippines is also in need of pharmacists, radiologic technologists, medical technologists, midwives, physical therapists, and dentists.
“If you talk about shortages in healthcare workers, marami tayong shortage ngayon (we have a lot of shortages now),” she said.
Among the reasons why there is a shortage of medical workers in the Philippines would be the migration of healthcare workers, said Vergeire.
Vergeire said that the DOH wants to maintain the current deployment cap of healthcare workers. Currently, the government has set a 7,000 cap on the deployment of medical workers overseas.
“Kung kami po ang tatanungin sa Department of Health, we would like to sustain and maintain this cap na wala na pang magiincrease pa sa mga naipapadala nating mga healthcare workers natin abroad (If the DOH is to be asked, we would like to sustain and maintain this cap so that there will be no increase in the number of healthcare workers to be sent abroad),” she said.
The DOH is also coordinating with the Department of Migrant Workers and the Department of Labor and Employment regarding possible “incentives” for healthcare workers in order “ for them not to leave the country.”
Vergeire said that they are also pushing bills in Congress that seek to improve the conditions of medical workers in the Philippines.
Vergeire also urged medical professionals to apply in the plantilla positions being offered by the DOH.
“We have around 624 plantilla positions for nurses, 1,332 midwives plantilla , and we have around 63 dentists na kailangan natin (that we need),” she said.
“We are calling our nurses here in the country, midwives in the country, our dentists, and other healthcare professionals, we have vacant plantilla positions,” she said.
“Kayo po ay makipag-ugnayan lamang sa aming DOH-HR Bureau para maiproseso natin ang inyong mga papel (Just contact our DOH-HR Bureau so we can process your papers),” she furthered.
The DOH is doing several measures to encourage health workers for them “to stay and work here in our country,” said Vergeire.
“Kailangan po namin ang tulong niyo sa ngayon, para po mag continue ang operations ng bawat facility dito sa ating bansa (We need your help right now, so that the operations of every facility in our country can continue),” she appealed.