Davao City health office says it needs more personnel

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews/09 June) — The City Health Office needs to double its current number of personnel to cope with a bigger population and give each barangay access to community-level healthcare, the head of the department said.

In an interview Tuesday, CHO chief Josephine Villafuerte said there was a need to ask for more plantilla positions as the population in the city was already approaching 1.5 million.

“When those positions were created in 1996, the city only had 800,000 population,” Villafuerte said.

She added there were 450 plantilla positions distributed in the city’s 182 barangays.

Ideally, there should be one doctor per district, one midwife per 5,000 people and 1 nurse per 20,000 people, she explained.

According to the City Investment Plan for Health, each of the city’s midwives is in charge of 15,000 people, while there is one nurse per 19,000 people.

The Department of Health, meanwhile, has augmented the city’s nurses with 60 more from its Nursing Development Program (NDP).

Councilor Mary Joselle Villafuerte said the DOH has informed her of the augmentation.

However, the NDP nurses would only serve until the end of the current administration.

the reorganization might require more funding for the agency, which would require more plantilla positions.

“We need plantilla personnel, because you will have trouble if you hire job orders,” CHO’s Villafuerte said. “You will spend for training them. Sayang lang (It would be a waste).

Councilor Rachel Zozobrado told reporters on Monday that the city council committee on reorganization would have to rely on the justification by the executive department regarding any restructuring in the city’s departments before making any approvals.

Zozobrado, who heads the committee, cited the case of the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office, which was immediately approved as the mandate came from the Department of Interior and Local Government. (MindaNews)