More health workers will be hired and salaries paid once the 2019 budget is released, the Department of Health (DOH) said on Friday.
In a statement, the DOH said around 26,000 rural health doctors, public health nurses, rural health midwives, dentists, medical technologists, pharmacists, nutritionist-dieticians, and other health workers under the Human Resource for Health (HRH) program will be hired.
Of this number, some 17,205 positions will be opened for nurses.
“They will receive full benefits similar to the benefits of a permanent employee, a policy that DOH has actively pushed for. This is our direct response to the need to augment health workers,” the statement read.
Under the HRH program, health workers and professionals are deployed in unserved and underserved areas in support of the Universal Health Care (UHC) policy.
The department said through the recently-enacted UHC law, the needed health reforms would be established and health workers, considered the “backbone” of a “strong health system”, are vital in its implementation.
“There are gaps that clearly need to be addressed and we want to start building the health reforms that we need through the UHC law,” the statement said.
The DOH assured the health workers, whose salaries and deployment have been delayed due to the pending approval and release of the 2019 General Appropriations Act (GAA), that “steps are being taken” with the help of local government units (LGUs) and other government offices.
The DOH reiterated the success of the HRH program works on the “strong support” of LGUs. (By Ma. Teresa Montemayor, PNA)