MANILA — More than a year since the COVID-19 pandemic started, the Philippine government is still facing challenges in hiring enough health workers to man facilities.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire on Wednesday said that at the start of the pandemic, the DOH already estimated that it would need 10,568 additional health workers to “fill up the gaps in our hospitals and other COVID facilities.”
The funding was already approved by the Department of Budget and Employment.
However, the DOH has only been able to hire 8,570 health workers, she said.
“Meron tayong gap and the challenge still would be the takers - yun pong mga gustong sumali at magtrabaho sa atin sa gobyerno,” she said.
(We have a gap and the challenge is the takers - those who want to join and work for the government.)
She said the hiring of health workers is still ongoing.
Vergeire also explained that they gave additional funding for government hospitals in need of health care workers. Their hiring is being done simultaneously with that of the DOH.
While the government increased the bed capacity of hospitals through modular structures or conversions of wards, the medical sector already warned that additional beds still required additional manpower.
This is especially important as the country deals with an increased number of COVID-19 patients in Metro Manila and nearby areas.
Just this week, the Philippines became the 26th country to log a total of 1 million COVID-19 cases.