In public hospitals, Alliance of Health Workers said frontline health workers are enraged over the inadequate protective gear, equipment, and supplies provided to them.
By JANESS ANN J. ELLAO
MANILA — Filipino health workers held protest actions in their respective workplaces as they assailed the increasing deaths among their ranks.
“We are anxious about the safety and well-being of our fellow healthcare worker,” said Robert Mendoza, secretary general of the Alliance of Health Workers.
As of April 23, twenty-five HCPs have died of the dreaded disease, which accounts for 5.72 percent of the total COVID-19 deaths in the country, according to John Hopkins University and Medscape data.
Read: Mass testing for health workers urged anew amid spike in COVID-19 positive cases
With the extended lockdown in place until May 15 for Metro Manila and two nearby regions, Mendoza said the government has yet to come up with a “comprehensive medical plan to deal with the COVID-19 crisis.”
In public hospitals, AHW said frontline health workers are enraged over the inadequate protective gear, equipment, and supplies provided to them.
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire earlier claimed that the reason for high rate of COVID-19 infection was not the lack of PPE but because patients refused to divulge their travel history.
Mendoza said the health department may have ordered 990,000 personal protective equipment (PPE), “is very small compared to large proportion of health workers who will utilize those PPE.”
At the San Lazaro Hospital, alone, AHW said six doctors, 36 nurses and 24 nursing attendants who work two shifts per day use 441 PPE sets per day.
At least 400 PPEs are also being used daily at the Lung Center of the Philippines.
Mendoza said many public hospitals “are still relying on private donations” for their PPEs.
Health workers, too, have yet to get their due overtime and hazard pay.
Meanwhile, Mendoza reiterated the need to conduct mass testing for health workers at least once every two weeks.
AHW said the DOH should be held accountable for its negligence on the health workers and patients’ safety.