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Overwork, unprotected Fabella hospital frontliners appeal to DOH to set in place health protocols to contain the deadly virus

Health workers from the Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital (DJFMH) on Tuesday staged a lunch break “silent protest” to express deep concern over the safety of fellow health workers, mothers, infant, and non-coronavirus disease (COVID-19) patients confined in the hospital who are prone to virus infection.

(Photo courtesy of Alliance of Health Workers)

In a statement, Dr. Margarita Esquivel, president of DJFMH Employees Union-Alliance of Health Workers (EU-AHW) appealed to the Department of Health (DPH) to “make concrete plans” on how to make proper protocols in containing COVID-19 in hospitals.

“We are bothered with the recent condition in our hospital especially to the mothers, babies, and to our fellow health workers. Newborn babies are prone to any infection,” Esquivel noted.

According to Esquivel, the number of infected health workers is “rapidly increasing” due to the lack of proper quarantine facilities for health workers who test positive for COVID-19, adding that those who test positive are only placed in tents near the pedia wards.

As of August 3, about 50 health workers in DJFMH have been infected.

Rodel Aala, officer of DJMHEU-AHW said that health workers still lack personal protective equipment and are required to work for 12 to 16 hours.

Aala also urged DOH to distribute adequate PPE to frontline health workers and to immediately conduct free mandatory testing with or without symptoms.

He also appealed to DJMH management to temporarily stop admission for disinfection, provide proper care and quarantine facilities to COVID-19 positive employees, hire additional regular health workers, release performance-based bonus of 2018 and 2019; and a P500 per day hazard pay, among others.

“We health workers are afraid of losing our lives. We have families who depend on us. Thus we cannot let anyone else from our ranks die helpless with COVID-19,” Aala said.

On Monday, health workers from the Jose Reyes Memorial Center staged a noon “snake rally” to denounce the death of fellow medical frontliner Judy Boon Suerte who succumbed to COVID-19 on July 31.

 

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