DOH eyeing more health workers

THE Department of Health (DOH) is looking into addressing the needs for more additional health workers in the implementation of the Universal Health Care (UHC) Law while the implementing rules and regulations (IRR) is still being finalized.

Dr. Abdullah Dumama Jr., health assistant secretary for field and implementation and coordination for Visayas and Mindanao, said that DOH is aiming to meet the World Health Organization (WHO) ratio of one doctor is to 20,000 patients, comprised with 10,000 nurses and 5,000 midwives, which he said is “unrealistic” to be provided as of now.

Dumama said the agency will create Human Resources for Health Master Plan committee that will be in charge in the quotation of needed health workers for the UHC law.

“‘Yun ang gagawin sa UHC oras na nagawa na ‘yung master plan, mapaplano na maging equitable na distribution (Once the masterplan for the UHC will be polished, then there would equitable distribution of manpower),” he said adding the plan includes competitive compensation for these workers.

The health officer said that there are workers, especially in the far-flung areas, who remain to be contractual until now. He said this will be one of the problems they will be addressing in the master plan.

Dumama clarified the master plan is separate from the IRR, which is being collated and is expected to be finalized on the first week of August this year.

The UHC law, which was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte on February this year, mandates an automatic enrollment of Filipinos to PhilHealth and access to quality health services.

Duterte, in his previous speech, calls for the urgent finalization of the law so that all Filipinos can immediately benefit its services.

Dumama, meanwhile, said they have been doing previous town hall consultations to gather insights and suggestions on the IRR crafting so that it will have a “smooth implementation”.

He also said the law has enough funding, contrary to the opinion of some economic experts that the law will undergo fund shortage as the “Sin Tax Law Amendment” is still pending in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. (RGL)


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