LOOK: San Lazaro Hospital nurses hold silent protest, call for improved treatment

Kristine Sabillo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 16 2020 11:14 PM

MANILA — Nurses at San Lazaro Hospital held a silent protest on Thursday, following management’s denial that they were being treated unfairly.

The health group Filipino Nurses United (FNU) sent to photos of nurses’ shoes placed outside the hospital in protest of their current situation.

"Hihintayin pa ba nating wala ng magsusuot ng mga sapatos na ito? #wearenotrobots,” they said in a message to ABS-CBN News.

(Will we wait until there are no more workers wearing these shoes?)

Last week, FNU’s members at San Lazaro Hospital issued a statement complaining about how they were being overworked and left unprotected from COVID-19.

“Do not make us quit,” they said then, enumerating the problems they face as they serve as frontliners.

Among the problems raised were understaffing, lack of personal protective equipment, transportation, accommodation support and stress debriefing.

They also complained of “unacceptable salary and unreasonable implementation of hazard pay.”

"Nursing staff and other healthworkers are treated as robots not human beings. The patient does comes first but their (health workers) safety should be top priority for if we get infected no one will be left to care for the sick," the group said.

On Thursday morning, FNU told ABS-CBN News that the Department of Health sent 4,000 N95 masks to the nurses last Tuesday.

However, with personal protective equipment used and disposed of regularly, the group also called for “proper, adequate and continuous supply of PPEs.”

Other signs seen at the protest include calls to implement paid 14-day quarantine and the need to repair an elevator that has not been working.

In their previous statement, the nurses said that the hospital elevator has not been functioning for years and that it has “resulted in injuries” of some health workers.

Meanwhile, San Lazaro Hospital management said it was compliant in terms of salaries and benefits. It also denied that the nurses were being overworked.