Gov’t health workers to get hazard pay hike

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) said Thursday that government health workers facing ‘threats’ in the performance of their duties will soon get an increase in their hazard pay.

DOH Secretary Dr. Paulyn Jean B. Rosell-Ubial made the statement during the 84th Philippine Public Health Association (PPHA) Annual Convention held in Diamond Hotel, Manila.

Ubial said that she has already signed the memorandum circular approving the increase in the hazard pays of public health workers.

The DOH chief added that it is unfair to deprive health workers of the hazard pay that is due to them because they risk their lives in the performance of their duties.

“When there is an outbreak in the country, the health workers will run towards the outbreak and will not run away from the outbreak. So, we should give premium to the nature of the work of health workers that are constantly at risk,” she said.

Ubial also stressed that safety equipment is not enough to protect them from exposure to health hazards, noting that the provision of hazard pay will boost their morale in fulfilling their mandate.

The amount of hazard pay for health workers will now range from 5 percent to 20 percent, depending on their respective salary grade.

Hazard pay for those with higher salaries will be at 5-percent while those with lower salaries shall get the maximum hazard pay of 20 percent.

“As the salary of health worker increases, the hazard pay decreases,” she said.

She recalled that a previous administration whom she refused to mention had lowered the hazard pay in the past and what they are doing was responding to the call to turn back the hazard pay to where it should beu

Meanwhile, the health chief said the DOH is also set to review the standard salary scale of all public health workers.

In particular, Ubial said she wants to give those in “difficult areas” higher compensation compared to those that are not.

She said that compensation basis should match the idea of “equal work for equal pay”.

“If you have more patients, you should have more compensation. If they are assigned in conflict areas or geographically isolated areas, you should have bigger salaries. We are now looking at that,” the Lady Health Chief said.

For instance, she cited that those working in hospitals with a 1:8 nurse-to-patient ratio must receive less than those deployed in hospitals with nurse-to-patient ratio of 1:20.

She further said such efforts are pursuant to the battlecry under the President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s goal of providing quality health services to Filipinos especially to those who are in far-flung areas of the country. Leilani Junio/PNA/northboundasia.com