PH short of 92,000 physicians in view of pandemic — DOH exec | Inquirer News
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PH short of 92,000 physicians in view of pandemic — DOH exec

/ 03:02 PM September 23, 2021
EXTRA HOURS A health worker updates the bulletin at the emergency room of Ospital ng Muntinlupa in Muntinlupa City as it exceeds its bed capacity on Sunday. Doctors, nurses and other medical front-liners work extra hours amid a surge in COVID-19 cases in the country. —RICHARD A. REYES

(FILE) EXTRA HOURS A health worker updates the bulletin at the emergency room of Ospital ng Muntinlupa in Muntinlupa City as it exceeds its bed capacity on Sunday. Doctors, nurses, and other medical front-liners work extra hours amid a surge in COVID-19 cases in the country. —RICHARD A. REYES

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines is short of 92,000 physicians and 44,000 nurses because of the COVID-19 pandemic, an official of the Department of Health (DOH) said Thursday.

DOH Assistant Secretary Kenneth Ronquillo bared these figures as the department defends before the House Committee on Overseas Workers Affairs the deployment cap on healthcare workers amid the health crisis.

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“If we look at the shortages of physicians as yet with the current situation of COVID in the Philippines, we have a shortage of around 92,000 physicians, 44,000 nurses, 19,000 medical technologists, around 14,000 pharmacists, and around 17,000 radiologic technicians and radiologic technologists,” he said.

“These numbers were provided to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) and I think this was the basis of the DOLE to put up this cap,” he added.

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Ronquillo cited “gaps” in the number of health workers deployed in hospitals in the country.

“If we look at the data that we have in the DOH, [there are] estimated gaps in the premise that all health workers, licensed to practiced, are practicing in the Philippines, then we would have shortages for physicians and radiologic technologists and x-ray technologists,” he said.

“But as it is now, the estimated gaps because not all health workers are practicing in the Philippines, then we have shortages for physicians, nurses, medical technologists and pharmacists, and radiologic technologists and x-ray technologists,” Ronquillo explained.

The Philippines is currently implementing a deployment cap on healthcare workers to ensure a sufficient workforce in the country amid the pandemic. The annual deployment ceiling of newly hired healthcare workers abroad was earlier increased from 5,000 to 6,500.

/MUF

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TAGS: Department of Health, deployment cap, healthcare workers, Kenneth Ronquillo
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