Malacañang on Thursday cautioned health institutions that the government will begin investigating look hospitals that do not regularly test their health workers periodically for COVID-19.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque in a virtual briefing warned hospitals that they may be held liable for violating the DOH’s Department Memorandum 2020-0546. This directive mandates all public and private hospitals and health facilities to ensure the availability of testing services for all their healthcare workers exposed to persons classified as suspect, probable, and confirmed COVID-19 cases.
“Kung merong paglabag diyan ipagbigay-alam lang po natin sa DOH at papaimbestigahan natin kung sino ang mga health facilities ang hindi nagbibigay ng mandated na regular testing for health workers,” he said.
It was earlier revealed by medical frontliners that the health chief’s claim of regular testing for health workers COVID-19 was not true.
Health Secretary Francisco Duque III informed President Rodrigo Duterte during a streamed Cabinet meeting that the department is making sure health workers are safe through testing every 2 weeks, and those infected are quarantined immediately.
The group Filipino Nurses United made their statement outrightly refuting Duque’s statement.
“Hindi po ‘yan totoo. Marami po kaming miyembro na napipilitan magduty kahit hindi natetest. Some pay for their own COVID-19 test for their peace of mind,” Jocelyn Andamo, secretary general of the FNU said in an interview a day after the Cabinet meeting.
The FNU also revealed how health workers have been working for long hours for lack of manpower.
“Marami po kaming colleagues, members na pag nagduty po ng 12 hours, pag hindi po nakapasok ang kanilang mga kasamahan dahil may sakit, nag-eextend pa sila ng 16 hours. Kung minsan, 36 hours.”
The group also said fatigue, lack of free and accessible testing are some of the reasons why more health workers catching the virus.