HEALTH WORKERS: WE WILL NOT SURRENDER IN THE FIGHT AGAINST COVID-19

STATEMENT OF APPEAL FROM UNION PRESIDENTS OF PRIVATE HOSPITALS

We, Union Presidents of private hospitals in National Capital Region (NCR) are expressing our deep disappointment with the national government’s reaction to the pleas of various groups of health professionals.

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These pleas, containing suggestions for forming new, immediate, and comprehensive strategies in confronting the pandemic, were ridiculed by the national government. Prior to this, the call for a reinstatement of ECQ was deemed as passé just as frontliners requested for a “time out” to recast new solutions based on the identified shortcomings of the national government’s plan in fighting Covid-19.

We also want to register our infuriation at Senator Cynthia Villar’s callous appeal to medical workers to just “work harder” because the economy, supposedly, can no longer survive another ECQ.
We health workers are deeply insulted and aggrieved by Senator Villar’s accusation that we are not doing our jobs to the best of our abilities. Never mind that we, who are literally the last line of defense in the battle against COVID-19, suffer sickness and death as long as the economy endures.
As frontliners, we will not surrender the fight against COVID-19. However, the burden on our shoulders does not get any lighter when our government is apprehensive to listen to the grievances and concrete recommendations of various medical societies. Adding salt to the wound is a cruel billionaire legislator bombarding us with insults!
We Union Presidents, who represent health workers in private hospitals, recognize the deficiencies of our government’s pandemic response that our health professionals identified. The prescriptions forwarded to the government, in our own humble opinion and experience, are valid recommendations from credible experts from the health sector.
Our recognition of the call of health professionals and experts is consistent with our mandate to protect the interests and well-being of the health workers we represent. Workers who literally expose themselves to death almost every minute of every day; who undergo exhaustion and prolonged separation from their families; who suffer illness and death through the very exercises of their roles and duties.
Our ranks are more than willing to unite with all medical groups and communities advocating and conceiving new solutions to the worsening health crisis. We shall do this based on our own independent analysis and experience as hospital workers.
We appeal to the National Government to lay bare the true state of our situation because we anticipate the imminent collapse of our nation’s entire health system due to the increasing number of infected. We also call for sufficient and immediate material support for medical workers by fulfilling the following demands:
1. Mandate all hospitals to provide sufficient medical attention to all workers infected with Covid-19. Prohibit sending positive cases home and provide medical health facilities exclusively for frontliners.
2. Issue clear guidelines on the timing and conduct of regular mass testing for workers.
3. Free shuttle services for workers and accommodations during lock downs.
4. Mandatory hazard pay for all workers.
5. Full implementation of Labor Advisory no. 21 specifically Section 3 (Compensation) thereof.
6. Repeal all the provisions in DOLE Department Orders and Labor Advisories pertaining to flexible work schedules that are inconsistent with the system of operation of hospitals and enables confusion and abuse by some hospitals.
7. Issue clear and appropriate guidelines for responding to workers that are Covid-19 positive and prohibit the issuance of fit-to-work orders to infected workers who have not yet fully recovered or are asymptomatic to Covid-19.
With that, we appeal the government for a “TIME OUT!” so they can hear our pleas and address our demands to give us the necessary strength to continue our struggle against the pandemic that is devastating the lives of our workers and people.

Signed by Union Presidents this 7th day of August, 2020

DONELL JOHN SIAZON
UGNAYANG NAGKAKAISANG MANGGAGAWA UST HOSPITAL
ROLDAN CLUMIA
ST. LUKE’S MEDICAL CENTER EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION
SHERWIN MOSCOSA
ST. LUKE’S MEDICAL CENTER GLOBAL CITY EMPLOYEES UNION INDEPENDENT
RENATO ROBLES
MANILA DOCTORS HOSPITAL EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION
DINO C. BABASA
NAGKAKAISANG MANGGAGAWA SA CARDINAL SANTOS MEDICAL CENTER
CECILIO EUSTAQUIO
OUR LADY OF LOURDES HOSPITAL EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION

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