Number of public health personnel dwindling in S. Mindanao
The number of health personnel in Southeastern Mindanao’s public health sector, is dwindling over the years owing to the national government’s lack of priority to health, the Department of Health regional director said.
Dr. Paulyn Jean B. Rosell-Ubial told MindaNews in an interview Tuesday the number of personnel serving in the region is threatened with the continued contractual arrangements in DOH-run hospitals and low salaries in local government-administered district and provincial hospitals.
Of the 600 personnel in the region’s biggest medical facility, the Davao Medical Center, only 300 have plantilla positions with the other half hired via contractual basis.
She cited that most of those hired on contractual basis are health aides, utility workers, and nurses.
She said the case is the same in the regional hospitals. Around two to three vacant positions for doctors in each of the 16 district hospitals in the region have been unfilled for there are no takers, she said.
Southeastern Mindanao comprises the three Davao provinces and Compostela Valley and the cities of Davao , Digos, Panabo, Samal and Tagum.
A new physician receives P20,000 a month in local government hospitals, Ubial said.
She said the contractual scheme and the low pay have caused a fast turn-over of employees with half of them leaving their post one to two years after hiring for higher-paying jobs abroad.
Rosell-Ubial said if the compensation state does not improve, it will compromise the delivery of health services in the region in two to three years.
But she stressed that at this point they are still coping with the situation.