A year of pandemic in PH: Health workers group says gov’t remains ‘slow, deaf’ | Inquirer News
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A year of pandemic in PH: Health workers group says gov’t remains ‘slow, deaf’

By: - Reporter / @ConsINQ
/ 10:02 PM January 30, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The government is still “slow and deaf” in responding to the needs of medical workers after one year since the coronavirus disease pandemic began in the Philippines.

The Alliance of Health Workers (AHW) had this to say Saturday as it was one year ago today when the first coronavirus disease (Covid-19) case was detected in the nation.

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“Looking back to what happened last year and until now,  despite the prompt and sincere response of health workers to save lives and cure victims of the disease, the DOH [Department of Health] and government authorities remained extremely slow, numb and deaf in responding to the needs of health workers and patients,” AHW President Robert Mendoza said in a statement.

Mendoza also noted that “nothing has changed” as health workers continue to experience plight in understaffing as well as protective equipment.

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“Nothing has changed in our situation: many health workers from the regions still lack of protective gear, severe understaffing in public hospitals and health facilities that lead to health workers to extend long hours of duty, low wages, over delayed of payment of miniscule and selective benefits such as actual hazard duty pay and special risk allowance,” Mendoza pointed out.

“There is still difficulty in claiming the sickness benefit to all health workers who are infected with the deadly virus,” he added.

The AHW said there is no improvement in manpower and quality of service in hospitals “as long as the government continuously implements hospital budget cuts.”

AHW, likewise, paid tribute to the heroism of medical workers who sacrificed their lives to treat Covid-19 patients and prevent the transmission of the respiratory disease.

The first Covid-19 case in the Philippines involved a Chinese woman who traveled from Wuhan City, province of Hubei in China, where the novel coronavirus first originated in late December 2019.

AHW lamented that the first Covid-19 case would’ve been avoided if the government enforced a strict travel restriction in the first place.

“The first entry of Covid-19 case in our country should have been avoided if the government strictly enforces a travel ban immediately so that the possible carrier of the coronavirus from China could not enter the country, and the health and safety of the people and health workers were the first priority of DOH and Duterte administration,” read the statement.

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To date, the country has 523,516 total Covid-19 cases with 475,904 recoveries and 10,669 deaths.

INQUIRER.net sought comments from the Department of Health and Malacanang but no answer yet as of posting time.

JPV

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