By Xy Aldrae Murillo

The Department of Health (DOH) is pushing to optimize salary standards of healthcare workers as well as fixing the healthcare system through better benefits to ensure that the country’s medical force  would not leave the country and serve its countrymen instead.

Photo Courtesy of Philippine Star/PCOO/DOH

DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire asserted that the department is looking out the need to hire healthcare professionals who are emigrating to other nations in order to cover the labor shortfalls caused by resignation or the pandemic

Vergeire added that the government “cannot prevent our healthcare workers from leaving because that’s their right to find more productive and bigger pay.”

According to reports, healthcare professionals engaged in private hospitals earn about P12,000 per month, while those working for government-run organizations are entitled to Salary Grade 15, or a salary slightly more than P35,000. 

Recently, a nurses' association recently reinforced its appeal for improved working conditions, including a base pay of P50,000 per month, to encourage healthcare professionals to remain in the Philippines.

Filipino Nurses United said that these benefits that include a base pay of P50,000 per month would help them to "live decently commensurate with their crucial role in health promotion and protection of our fellow Filipinos."

Furthermore, the De La Salle University Medical Center employees' union had warned that the intensive recruiting of and attractive compensation packages for Filipino nursing students by the United Kingdom and Germany would have an impact on the country's healthcare sector. 

In response, the DOH proposed the standardization of the salaries of healthcare workers in public and private facilities in an attempt to keep these medical workers at home and in the country.

Vergeire also said the department is currently studying on how they can further enhance the benefits of the country’s healthcare workers and working on providing scholarships for students that would be interested to work in the healthcare field.

"These are what we’re doing so that we can further incentivize and encourage our healthcare workers to stay here and serve the country," the health official said.

“We are doing all these now so we can further incentivize, we can further encourage our healthcare workers to stay here in the country and serve the country,” Vergeire added.

Edited by Juliana Mondoyo