DOH seeks additional funds for health workers' benefits

Nurses in PPEs

The Department of Health (DOH) is appealing to Congress for an additional budget to "sustain" the provision of benefits for the country's healthcare workers.

DOH Officer-in-Charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said that they are set to receive P20 billion for the provision of emergency benefits and allowances of health workers in 2023. However, Vergeire said that such funding is not enough.

“‘Yun nga lang po medyo kulang po ito doon sa (It's just that it was a little short of the) estimated funding requirement na atin pong nahingi sa kanila (that we asked of them) which was at P77 billion so that we can sustain providing our healthcare workers their benefits for 2023,” she said on Friday, Aug. 26.

“Tayo ay makikiusap sa ating Kongreso kung maaring madagdagan para maipagpatuloy natin ang pagbibigay ng benepisyo sa ating mga healthcare workers (We are appealing to Congress if they could increase so that we can continue providing benefits to our healthcare workers),” she added.

Vergeire said that the proposed budget for the DOH and its attached agencies for next year was at P301 billion.

Among the top priorities for the allocation of their budget include P45 billion for hospital operations, P24 billion for public health programs, including subsidies for tuberculosis, human immunodeficiency virus, cancer, and mental health programs; P23 billion for health facilities enhancement program; and P22 billion for the medical assistance to indigent patients.

“Also part of the priority programs of DOH as well —would be to provide the subsidies for the premiums for the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation to our sectors na binibigyan ng ating gobyerno and this would comprise around P100 billion,” said Vergeire.