Deployment of rural doctors to Cebu City voluntary ‘for now’ — DOH
MANILA, Philippines — The deployment of doctors to the barrios in Cebu City will be on a voluntary basis for now following objections on their planned deployment to augment health workers in the area, the Department of Health said on Tuesday.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said the DOH is still finalizing the number of doctors that will be deployed to Cebu City following this development, as cases of COVID-19 in the city continue to soar.
“Noong nakipag-usap tayo marami ang nagrefuse, and it is quite disheartening because nasa public health emergency tayo and sana ‘yung commitment ng ating government workers are there,” she lamented in an online press conference.
(When we spoke with them, several of them refused and it is quite disheartening because we are in the middle of public health emergency. We hope the commitment of government workers are there.)
“Nevertheless, ang ginawa natin, nakipagdialogue tayo ulit with them and now ang ating recourse would be this would all be voluntary para lang wala muna tayong issue for the meantime,” she said.
(Nevertheless, we had a dialogue with them again and our recourse is this will be voluntary so that we will not have any issue for the meantime.)
Vergeire noted that Cebu City needs augmentation for its COVID-19 response efforts and that the deployment of additional doctors who will attend to patients is the city’s “cry for help.”
Under the new setup, she said that only doctors to the barrios who are “willing and amenable” to DOH arrangements will be the ones to be sent to the city.
The health official bared this voluntary system of deployment a day after the DOH in Western Visayas indefinitely suspended a plan to send 40 rural doctors from the region to Cebu City, following objections from the doctors themselves who cited lack of consultation and familiarity with the COVID-19 situation in the city, among others reasons.
The doctors were supposed to be deployed in four batches.
“Every two weeks ang rotation and then there are two weeks na quarantined sila pagbalik nila sa kanilang area (They will undergo a two-week quarantine upon their return to their respective areas),” said Vergeire.
She added that the DOH in Western Visayas is now finalizing the process for the voluntary deployment of rural doctors.
The Cebu City Health Department logged on Monday 191 new COVID-19 cases—a new record-high in its daily reporting of additional patients—bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the city to 5,141. The number of patients who have recovered is now at 2,713, while the death toll was recorded at 169.
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