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Limit workers' duty to 6-8 hours, DOH urges hospitals

Amid reports of healthcare workers rendering long hours of service without overtime or hazard pay, the Department of Health (DOH) urged private hospitals to limit the working hours of their staff to allow them to get enough rest.

At a virtual press briefing on Wednesday, Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said private hospitals must give healthcare workers the necessary protection against the new coronavirus as well as proper compensation in accordance with the COVID-19 Special Risk Allowance.

“Limitahan din natin ang oras ng kanilang pagpasok sa six to eight hours upang mabigyan po sila ng sapat na pahinga at maiwasan din ang posibilidad na bumaba ang kanilang resistensiya at mahawa,” she added.

Vergeire also appealed to local government units to offer accommodations for healthcare workers.

“Sa ganitong paraan po, sila ay makakapagpahinga nang mas maayos at maiiwasan din po kung saka-sakali ang mahawa ang kanilang pamilya kung sila ay ma-expose sa isang pasyente,” she explained.

The steady rise of COVID-19 cases in the country has hobbled the operations of several private hospitals across Metro Manila, with some facilities seeking donations of personal protective equipment as their stocks run low. 

A number of private hospitals also earlier announced that they are at full capacity and can no longer accept COVID-19 patients.

The deadly disease has so far claimed the lives of five doctors who died in the line of duty.

The Philippines has recorded 636 cases of COVID-19 and 38 deaths due to the disease as of Wednesday afternoon. —LDF, GMA News