Around 40% of nurses have left private hospitals since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines (PHAPi) President Dr. Jose Rene de Grano said Saturday.
He made the disclosure in an interview on "Dobol B TV" as he called on the Department of Health to consider augmenting the number of healthcare workers assigned in private health facilities.
“‘Yun pong unang bugso ng pandemic, nabawasan na kami ng [nurses] mga around 40% simula nung magstart ang pandemic, talagang hirap na po noon ang mga private hospitals,” De Grano said.
(Since the onset of the pandemic, about 40% of our staff nurses have left. The private hospitals have been facing difficulties since then.)
When the surge of COVID-19 cases occurred in April this year, De Grano said around five to 10% of the remaining staff nurses had also left the private hospitals.
According to the PHAPi president, some of these nurses have joined government hospitals, some took time off from their work, while some are looking for opportunities abroad.
“Humihingi rin po kami ng tulong sa Department of Health kung meron silang maibibigay sa amin na augmentation na personnel para makatulong sa mga hospitals,” he said.
(We are asking the Department of Health for personnel augmentation to help our hospitals.)
Apart from the augmentation from the DOH, De Grano appealed to nurses who have recently passed their board examinations to serve in the frontline.
“Ang inaasahan po namin ay ‘di ba may nakapasang 5,000 na mga bagong nurses ay sana po mag-apply na sila at ma-admit namin sa different hospitals,” he said.
(We expect some 5,000 newly-registered nurses to apply so that we can deploy them in different hospitals.)
He appealed to new nurses to serve in the country first before looking for green pastures abroad.
Last Monday, De Grano said private hospitals could be be hard-pressed in expanding their intensive care units (ICUs) if ever there will be a new surge of COVID-19 cases.
"We have enough oxygen support, ventilators, but if there will be a surge, we cannot easily expand our intensive care units because it comes with huge expenses, with additional required equipment, as well as highly-trained nurses and doctors," he said.
Last Thursday, the Philippine College of Physicians (PCP) said that they are seeing a fresh uptick in COVID-19 cases in hospitals, with the entry of the highly contagious Delta coronavirus variant.
On Thursday night, the Department of Health confirmed the local transmission of COVID-19 Delta variant in the Philippines.
Earlier, the DOH said 12 new Delta variant infections were reported in the country, pushing total cases up to 47.
President Rodrigo Duterte has already called for a meeting with the IATF due to the rising cases of the Delta variant in the country. —LBG, GMA News