New DOH chief: Proper compensation for health workers a priority

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 7) — Newly appointed Health Secretary Ted Herbosa on Wednesday committed to ensure that health workers receive proper compensation from the government, particularly those with delayed benefits.

“We need to solve this. Priority ko ‘to [This is a priority for me]," Herbosa told reporters during his first day as head of the Department of Health (DOH).

Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, several health workers have repeatedly complained of delays in the release of benefits and allowances promised to them for working on the frontlines during the health crisis.

“I’ll look into that," the DOH chief assured. "I’ll make sure lahat ng nagtrabaho at nagbigay ng serbisyo, mabigay ‘yung benefits nila [I'll make sure benefits will be given to all those who worked and rendered service]."

It is also high time to increase the pay given to health workers, Herbosa said, as he cited the perennial problem of workers leaving the country due to meager salaries.

Meanwhile, Herbosa added that President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has particularly asked him to address the high number of tuberculosis cases in the country, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) cases among the youth, and teenage pregnancies.

Marcos also instructed him to work on the expansion of specialty hospitals, he said.

“At very important, sabi nya tulungan ‘yung mga mahihirap at walang access,” Herbosa said. “So, gagawin ho nating lahat ‘yun, and hopefully we will be able to provide to the Filipino people ‘yung healthcare na gusto ni President Marcos.”

[Translation: And very important, the president said we should help the poor and those lacking access to healthcare. So, we will do all of those, and hopefully, we will be able to provide to the Filipino people the quality of healthcare which President Marcos wants.]