Robredo wants urgent assistance for health workers amid resignation of nurses

Vice President Leni Robredo on Sunday sought urgent assistance for medical workers following the resignation of several nurses, which put a strain on the healthcare systems of hospitals.

She said this lack of manpower in hospitals worsened during the COVID-19 surge in the past months.

Despite expanding COVID-19 beds, hospitals still limit the admission of patients due to the resignation of health workers, Robredo further noted.

“Dati nang kulang dahil hindi naasikaso ang pangangailangan natin. ‘Di natin masisi na magseek ng greener pastures kasi may mga pamilyang itong sinusuportahan,” said Robredo in her weekly radio show.

(Their needs are not being met and we cannot blame them if they seek greener pastures because they have families that they need to support.)

“Nakikita natin ang Senate investigation, bilyon bilyon ang anomalya, pero yung pinakabasic na pangangailangan ng health workers di natutugunan. Hindi makatarungan, hindi natin maintindihan kung bakit ganito,” she added.

(We watched the Senate probe, billions are being spent on anomalies but the basic needs of health workers are not being met. This is an injustice, and I cannot understand why this is so.)

The Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines had lamented that 5% to 10% of nurses in private hospitals have resigned in the past two to three weeks to seek greener pastures in other countries that are hiring more health workers.

No vaccines yet for some seafarers, OFWs

Since vaccine supply was no longer an issue in the Philippines, Robredo said overseas Filipino workers and seafarers should be prioritized regardless if they have a deployment date.

Given the adequate supplies, vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. raised its target for vaccinations. However, he conceded that they were facing issues in the distribution of the jabs.

“Kung mayroong available, bakit di natin unahin yung mga OFWs? Kasi ngayon ang tinuturukan natin ngayon yung padeploy na ang problema nung padeploy na siyempre maghihintay ka pa ng second dose,” she pointed out.

(If there are available vaccines, why can’t we prioritize the OFWs? Because we are injecting only those that will already be deployed but the problem is before they get deployed, they need to wait for the second dose.)

“Sana kahit wala pang date sa pag-deploy, i-prioritize na para sana available na trabaho sa kanila hindi na maantala,” she added.

(Even if there is no deployment date, they would nevertheless be prioritized so that it won’t stop them from looking for jobs.)

She also suggested that teachers, returning workers, and other employees must also get their jabs.

“Ang daming bakuna pero masyado kasing centralized sana liberalize nila na yung mga kumpanya mabakunahan ang employees, yung mga teachers na kailangan sa pamahalaan,” she said.

(The distribution is centralized, we hope to liberalize this so that our companies may inoculate their employees as well as working teachers.)

Robredo also reminded the government to fix its logistical issues, a matter she spoke about in November 2020 when she suggested the government list down its initial recipients and ready the budget for distribution while waiting for supplies.

Robredo said the suggestion would allow for a smoother vaccine distribution once it becomes available in the Philippines.

But Malacanang insisted that it had a list of recipients, adding that the Duterte administration was “10 steps” ahead of the problem. — DVM, GMA News

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