‘Cebu City in need of more healthcare workers to combat COVID-19’
MANILA, Philippines — Cebu City is in need of additional healthcare workers to deal with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis, said Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu said on Tuesday.
Cimatu was tapped by President Duterte to oversee and supervise the COVID-19 response in Cebu City due to the rising number of cases.
Cimatu said he spoke with members of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Emerging Infectious Diseases to discuss the shortage in the number of health workers in the city, which National Task Force against COVID-19 chief implementer Carlito Galvez, Jr. recently tagged as the “main focal point” of the disease in the country.
“Nagkukulang talaga because nagrorotation sila, overworked naman sila, overburdened so kailangan ng [augmentation]. Sa akin, if we can have 30 percent more of what we have here, at least naman makakacompensate sa pagrorotate,” Cimatu, said in an interview on ABS-CBN News Channel.
(There is really a lack of medical workers here and they are overworked and overburdened. If we can have 30 percent more of what we have here, at least we can compensate for the deficiency)
Cimatu added that he had observed the low morale of some health workers in the city while dealing with the pandemic.
“Napansin ko talaga na low morale. I went to the Vicente Sotto Hospital [Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center]. Pumunta ako doon. Nakita ko talaga, feel mo talaga na it is very malungkot sa loob,” he recalled.
(I noticed low morale among health workers. I went to the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center. I saw and sense the low morale of some workers.)
He also said that the low morale among health workers is more apparent in private hospitals, as compared to medical frontliners in public hospitals who receive hazard pay from the government.
Cimatu said he is currently in talks with leaders of the business sector in the city for the provision of incentives for health workers in private hospitals.
On Monday, the Department of Health – Western Visayas suspended a plan to send 40 rural doctors from the region to Cebu City to address the manpower shortage.
The suspension came after objections by doctors themselves, citing lack of consultation and familiarity with the situation in the city.
Also on Monday, the Cebu City Health Department reported and recorded a record-high 191 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of infections to 5,141.
Two thousand seven hundred thirteen patients have recovered while 169 others perished.
ECQ should continue in Cebu City — Cimatu
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