GenSan hospital needs more nurses as COVID cases rise

A physician gets vaccinated against COVID-19 at Dr. Jorge P. Royeca Hospital. MindaNews file photo by ROMMEL REBOLLIDO

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 03 August) – The city government is pushing for the hiring of additional nurses to address the manpower shortage at the city hospital amid the continuing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Glenville Gonzalez, department head of the local government-run Dr. Jorge P. Royeca Hospital (DJPRH), said they need to fill up at least 25 vacancies at the facility as of Tuesday for job order nurses.

He said they continue to accept applications to increase their manpower complement, especially for the facility’s COVID-19 Center.

The DJPRH, which also hosts a molecular laboratory and dialysis center, currently has a total of 88 job order and over 30 regular or permanent nurses.

From January to June this year, Gonzalez said a total of 25 nurses, mostly job orders, resigned from the facility for various reasons, among them the competitive salaries and benefits offered by other hospitals.

To address the problem, the city government has approved a significant salary increase for job order nurses effective Aug. 16 from the current P17,099 to P26,192.

“We’re hoping that many will apply with the implementation of the salary adjustment,” Gonzalez said.

The official admitted that the hospital’s operations have been affected by the problem but said they continued to cope with the situation.

In July, he said their chief nurse and supervisors volunteered for assignments at the COVID-19 Center extension due to the lack of personnel.

Dr. Ryan Aplicador, the chief of hospital of DJPRH, said the shortage of nurses has long been a problem for many hospitals and it worsened due to the lack of graduates since last year.

He said the number of nurses opting to work abroad has been increasing in the past several years due to the higher compensation.

“The problem right now is also the lack of applicants. Only a few have been applying while many are leaving the hospital,” he said.

Aplicador is hoping the nurses that will be hired in the coming months will decide to stay and eventually become regular workers.

He said the hospital management has been continually working to regularize their staff and pushing for additional budget to fund the available plantilla positions. (MindaNews)

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