DOH issues guidelines on hiring health workers for COVID-19 response



The Department of Health (DOH) has issued guidelines on the hiring of health workers in order to boost the country’s response to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

In a statement, Health Secretary Francisco T. Duque III said the hiring of health personnel would augment the workforce in health facilities in the regions, provinces, or cities that manage COVID-19 cases.

Duque said the interim guidelines for emergency hiring of health personnel in select hospitals and other health facilities to expand the country’s response to the COVID-19 health emergency are contained under  Department Memorandum No. 2020-0153.

Once hired, Duque said the health workers will be deployed in the following order of priority:

  1. DOH-designated COVID-19 referral hospitals like Philippine General Hospital (PGH), Lung Center of the Philippines (LCP), Dr. Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital;
  2. Temporary treatment and monitoring facilities for COVID-19;
  3. DOH-designated COVID-19 diagnostic facilities;
  4. Public hospitals (national and local) handling COVID-19 patients; and
  5. Private hospitals duly designated by the DOH to handle COVID-19 cases.

The DOH Administrative Service-Personnel Administration Division (AD-PAD) will approve the hiring and deployment of health personnel based on the needs assessment submitted by the DOH facilities, or through their respective Centers for Health Development (CHD) or by the Ministry of Health of Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (MOH-BARMM).

Upon approval, the facilities may proceed with the recruitment and hiring process.

“These health personnel will be hired as contract of service and will include physicians; nurses; medical technologists; respiratory therapists; radiologic technologists; medical equipment technicians (Mechanical Ventilator Technician); nursing attendants; administrative assistants; administrative aides; and other personnel, as may be necessary,” said Duque.

Under the emergency hiring order, a health personnel will be entitled to a monthly salary compensation with 20% premium based on the basic salary, regardless of the number of quarantine days per month; protective personal equipment (PPEs); board and lodging while on duty or on quarantine; psychosocial support, as needed; Continuing Professional Development (CPD) units, which may be granted through Health Human Resource Development Bureau (HHRDB) certification; medico-legal assistance; and preferential evaluation for DOH vacancies, depending on qualifications.

He notes that priority will be given to those who signed up as volunteers for the COVID-19 response in DOH sites.

The health chief further said health personnel will receive a hazard pay of P500/day whether on duty or under required quarantine; GSIS group insurance (one time premium of P500); benefits under the Bayanihan We Heal As One Act such as PhilHealth hospitalization benefits, P100,000 in case of infirmity due to COVID-19 and P 1,000,000 in case of death; and a communication and transportation allowance of P1,000/month.

Public health workers, who are exposed to health risk in the light of the pandemic, are also eligible to receive one-time special risk allowance of up to 25% of their monthly basic pay, subject to the provisions of Administrative Order 28 released on April 6.

An initial 857 health care workers will be deployed in the three (3) designated COVID-19 referral hospitals.

“We are thankful for the health care workers who volunteered their expertise in this COVID-19 battle. Your heroism in the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic is an inspiration to the government and to the Filipino people,” Duque also said. /Stacy Ang

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