Reports of nurses quitting in Cebu City over pandemic worries group
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Filipino Nurses United (FNU) Cebu City Chapter said that the reports of nurses resigning from public and private hospitals over the pandemic are alarming.
In a statement, the FNU Cebu City said that hundreds of nurses were threatening to resign over the pressure of working amid the rise of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
Many nurses are not showing up at work or going absent without leave (AWOL) over the increasing workload and the rise of the COVID-19 cases while the pay remains low.
“Nurses directly caring for COVID-19 patients experience the dreadful effects of the disease first-hand, witnessing patients in critical conditions, and even lose their lives. No wonder they become anxious and fear for their own safety. On top of that, the workload is increasing as many staff are placed in quarantine or even infected,” said FNU Cebu City.
Furthermore, nurses are discouraged because of discrimination in their homes and from the community.
The FNU is urging the city government to address this problem and encourage the health care workers to continue caring for COVID-19 patients amid the pandemic through support.
“There are five hospitals in Cebu that are catering to COVID-19 cases, four are in Cebu City, namely, Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center, Cebu Doctors’ University Hospital, Chong Hua Hospital and Perpetual Succour Hospital. The fifth is University of Cebu Medical Center in Mandaue City.
“However, other hospitals like Cebu City Medical Center, district hospitals and other private hospitals also get COVID-19 patients prior to getting confirmation that they are positive. The latter are not equipped to handle them and may not have the appropriate PPE sets for protection,” said FNU.
The group encouraged the city government to provide additional personal protective equipment (PPEs) for these hospitals and ensure that the health care workers directly handling COVID-19 patients would be sufficiently protected at all times.
They also encouraged the Department of Health to provide free testing for the nurses and other health care professionals directly dealing with the COVID-19 patients.
“DOH-7 spokesperson, Dr. Mary Jean Loreche, said that as of July 8, 2029, 48 health workers out of 111 infected in Central Visayas are in Cebu City. There was no breakdown provided as to how many of these are nurses and no information on their current status. Nurses need to know that the DOH is on top of this and having readily available data would be an indication. It is imperative that the state of the health workers be known and monitored if we are to ensure that we win in this epidemic,” the group said.
Furthermore, the FNU said that health care professionals should be represented in the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) Advisory Council to address their needs.
Though they welcome the cash incentive of P10,000 per month for three months from the city government, the group pushes for the increase of the basic salary of nurses to P32,000 per month.
They said that nurses should earn a salary with respect to their workload, which for now was not enough even without the pandemic.
“Our nurses and other health workers need all the support we can give to continue caring for Cebuanos. COVID-19 must end, not us,” said the FNU.
The FNU Cebu City hopes the city government can do something to help the tired nurses and health care professionals in the city fighting at the forefront of the COVID-19 war./dbs
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