The Department of Health (DOH) shared on Monday that the government is ready to hire more health professionals but there are no interested applicants.

“Unfortunately talagang hirap na hirap kami. Madaming posisyon, may pera ang Bayanihan fund kaya lang walang takers. Wala masyadong nagkukuha ng slots na meron tayo,” Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said during a virtual briefing.

Vergeire shared this information after being questioned by some reporters about the current status of health workers and their continuous clamor on overwork and understaffing amidst the rise of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) infections in the country. 

The Health undersecretary said that hiring more healthcare professionals has been a challenge. 

Meanwhile, looking at Sunday’s COVID-19 situationer report, 6,002 positions of the 8,810 slots for emergency hiring in 336 health facilities have been taken. Almost half will be stations for DOH hospitals. 

“Nung una marami talagang takers. Pero ngayon I think nae-exhaust natin especially here in Metro Manila. Kaya tumitingin pa tayo kung anong ways to increase or augment health workers, especially in hospitals,” Vergeire said.

She added that they are set to team up with universities and institutions to tap their respective graduates. 

Recently, the DOH faced a controversy for sending doctors to the barrios to work in private hospitals in Cebu City. Doctors to the Barrios Batches 36-ALAB and 37-MANDALA strongly condemned the directive of DOH and expressed their concern on social media regarding the need of doctors in hard-to-reach areas. 

Vergaire reminded health workers of their commitment to serve.

“Sana sa panahon na ito, oo natatakot tayo pero magbigay trust tayo na aalagaan naman kayo. Pangalawa ‘yun lang commitment na para makatulong sa bayan,” she said.

The Health Department has been the subject of criticisms for the rise of Covid-19 infections in the country. Health Secretary Francisco Duque III himself was asked several times by senators to resign.  (RJ Espartinez)