MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Health (DOH) maintained that the supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) in the country is enough for the use of health care workers.
The agency responded to the claims of a group of nurses from San Lazaro Hospital saying they were not treated well in the hospital.
“Iyong PPE sa San lazaro they have enough supply (San Lazaro Hospital has enough supply of PPE). They have adequate supply. Hindi naman ito pinagdadamot ng administration para sa kanilang mga empleyado (The administration is not depriving its employees of PPE supply), ” said Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire.
The nurses held a ‘silent protest’ in front of the hospital by taking their shoes off and displaying them at the hospital entrance.
“(Ipinoprotesta namin) iyong fatigue, iyong under staffing, iyong hindi adequate ang protection nila, iyong kanilang unhealthy workplace environment, iyong kanilang exposure to COVID infection,” said Eleonor Nolasco, the vice president of the group Filipino Nurses United.
(We are protesting because of fatigue, under staffing, inadequate protection, unhealthy workplace environment, the staff’s exposure to COVID infection.)
The DOH assured that the grievances of the protesting frontliners have already been discussed with the hospital management.
“Kinausap na sila ni Secretary Duque at araw- araw tinatawaagan natin sila para i-check nga kung ano ang progress ng pag-uusap din nila with the group of nurses,” assured Vergeire.
(Secretary Duque already discussed the matter with them and everyday, they are being checked as regards the progress relative to what was discussed with the group of nurses.)
The official also noted that the healthcare workers must have been receiving their respective hazard pay and quarantine leave.
But the group of nurses is determined to sustain their demonstration up to the day of President Rodrigo Duterte’s state of the nation address (SONA) next week.
“Para ipakita na sa apat na taon na andito kami sa ilalim ng kasalukuyang gobyerno lahat ng mga hinaing ng nurses ay hindi sapat na natugunan (To show them that in the past four years under this government, the nurses’ concerns were not sufficiently addressed),” Nolasco said. MNP (with reports from Aiko Miguel)
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