DOH eyes contract extension of its health workers
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) is eyeing to extend the contracts from three months to six months of health workers who were hired to augment the medical workforce in the fight against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said Wednesday that the DOH will also expedite the emergency hiring of health workers for priority areas such as Metro Manila, Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, and Quezon), Central Luzon, and Cebu to augment medical personnel.
She said these are among the measures to be undertaken by the DOH to maximize the “timeout” requested by the medical community during the modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ) in Metro Manila and nearby provinces from August 4 to 18.
“We should establish a substitution team and this will be led by DOH to relieve the pressure off from our healthcare workers. DOH is now exploring to change the contracting period of our human resources for health from 3 months to 6 months, and expedite the hiring of HRH (human resources for health) to priority areas,” she told a media forum.
“We have been recomputing budget requirements to support these initiatives,” said Vergeire.
According to the official, the Centers for Health Development of the DOH who have few COVID-19 cases among its personnel have also committed to sharing its human resource to augment health workers in areas with increasing cases of COVID-19, specifically Metro Manila, Calabarzon, Central Luzon, and Cebu.
Vergeire said that so far, there have been a total of 21,078 HRH who have augmented health workers in the country amid the battle against COVID-19.
They are composed of 368 post-residency deployed physicians, 1,315 workers from the Nurse Deployment Project (NDP), 6,536 HRH from the DOH emergency hiring, 8,966 NDP contact tracers, and swabbers, and 3,893 public health associates.
As of Tuesday, the total COVID-19 caseload in the country rose to 112,593, with additional 6,352 cases. A total of 66,049 have recovered, while the death toll is now at 2,115.
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