HEALTHCARE workers from the provinces have arrived in Metro Manila to reinforce the region’s sick and fatigued hospital workforce, the Department of Health (DOH) said yesterday as it announced the redeployment of 136 doctors and nurses to various health facilities in the metropolis.
In a statement, the DOH said doctors and nurses will be deployed to seven government hospitals, two specialty hospitals, and one regional hospital in Metro Manila.
The first batch consisting 42 doctors and nurses came from the Ilocos Region, Calabarzon, and Bicol Region. They were assigned to the East Avenue Medical Center and Quirino Memorial Medical Center in Quezon City, Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital in Caloocan City, and Amang Rodriguez Memorial Hospital in Marikina City.
The 94 other healthcare workers were pulled out from Central Visayas, Eastern Visayas, Zamboanga Peninsula, Northern Mindanao, Davao Region, and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM).
They will serve as reserves for the medical frontliners at the National Kidney and Transplant Institute, Lung Center of the Philippines, and the off-site extension of Jose R. Reyes Memorial Medical Center at the Quezon Institute in Quezon City, San Lazaro Hospital and Tondo Medical Center in the City of Manila, and Rizal Medical Center in Pasig City.
Under the DOH redeployment program, all healthcare workers are entitled to RT-PCR testing prior, during, and post deployment, per diem, work transportation expenses, accommodation and meal allowances, among others.
The allowances are on top of their salaries and other benefits that they receive from their mother offices.
The DOH assured the public that it is ready to provide similar support to other medical facilities accepting COVID-19 patients.
“We shall continue the augmentation of human resources for health, through redeployment and hiring, to ensure that there are adequate healthcare workers that can provide quality health services to COVID-19 and other patients in need of medical care,” said the DOH.
The Philippine Hospital Association (PHA) has earlier said their inability to expand COVID-19 bed capacities are actually not due to lack of actual beds, but because of their depleted workforce.
The Philippine Health Insurance Corporation (PhilHealth) will set up a Debit-Credit Payment Method (DCPM) to facilitate and hasten the settlement of payments to due hospitals and other health care facilities (HCFs) that provide services and treatment to COVID patients, presidential spokesman Harry Roque said.
Roque said the PhilHealth approved the scheme as President Duterte reiterated his order to expedite the payment of valid hospital claims.
Roque said the DCPM will be in effect while the country remains under a state of public health emergency, which the President declared last year when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country. It will be open to HCFs located in provinces and regions to be identified by the Interagency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) and the National Task Force Against COVID-19 (NTF) such as those in the NCR Plus bubble. – With Jocelyn Montemayor