Increase basic pay for nurses, Cebu City Council appeal to private hospitals
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Cebu City Council has appealed to private hospitals to increase the basic pay for nurses.
The council members including Eugenio Gabuya, Jr., Eduardo Rama, Jr., and Alvin Dizon have raised concerns about the inability of hospitals to open more COVID-19 rooms because of the lack of nurses.
Councilor Rama in particular has been working closely with the Department of Health (DOH), the Cebu City Medical Center (CCMC), and the Cebu City Health Department (CHD) to provide incentives to the private hospital nurses for the next three months of P10,000 each per month.
This was already previously approved by the council and the city governemnt has partnered with the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (RAFI) to identify the beneficiaries.
However, Rama said the incentives from the government is simply not enough and the private hospitals have to find ways to compensate their nurses better, especially those assigned in COVID-19 wards.
“We made a motion, an appeal that private hospitals increase the salary of nurses on their capacity because gamay gyod ang sweldo sa atong nurses sa private hospitals,” said Rama in a phone interview with CDN Digital.
Councilor Gabuya said the hospitals are earning millions and increasing the salary of COVID-19 nurses should be within their financial capability.
However, it can be noted that private hospitals already raised the concern to Acting Mayor Michael Rama that Philhealth has not been paying them on time causing a financial burden.
The acting mayor has also appealed to the state health insurance agency to pay their dues to help keep private hospitals running.
Gabuya added that one of the reasons why hospitals cannot just transfer nurses from their other departments is because COVID-19 nurses need to be properly trained and it takes time to train them.
With this, he urged the city’s executive department to conduct free trainings for private hospital nurses so they can handle COVID-19 patients, thereby reducing risk of transmission among medical staff.
“We hope the city government can intervene and train the nurses for free kay aron dili pud na sila mangatakdan,” said Gabuya.
Rama said the City Council has also approved the hiring of additional nurses for the CCMC and Cebu City Quarantine Center (CCQC) in their recent regular session.
He said the hiring of the 100 nurses for the CCMC and CCQC, as well as another 100 to serve as augmentation for private hospitals, will help the health care system meet the demands of the COVID-19 surge. /rcg
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