Private hospital unions ask PBBM: Give HCW priority


THE United Private Hospital Unions of the Philippines (UPHUP) on Monday urged President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. to put healthcare workers in his priority agenda for Congress in his upcoming State of the Nation Address (SONA).

“He must ensure that the country is protected by a robust health sector by ensuring adequate compensation and comprehensive benefits for workers in the industry,” the group said. “There is no shortage in nurses but better wages,” the UPHUP stressed.

On Camarines Sur Rep. Luis Raymund “LRay” Villafuerte’s push for the Department of Health (DOH) to track down and hire the 120,000 licensed nurses, the group said, “unfortunately, the answer to this puzzle is right under their noses—poor pay and benefits.”

Villafuerte said that these 120,000 licensed nurses who are believed to be “jobless, underemployed, or doing non-nursing jobs” could help address the shortage of nurses in Philippine hospitals.

“The honorable Congressman Lray Villafuerte is right on the money to ask the DOH where our nurses are,” the group said.

Nurses, they said, opt not to work in the healthcare sector because of the grim reality that entry-level pay, especially in the private sector, remains close to starvation wages.

The group claimed that private hospital nurses receive a paltry entry-level salary ranging from P15,000 to 20,000, while their counterparts in the public health sector earn a minimum of P35,000.

“This is why there are many nurses who just go for jobs in the call center industry, for example, which offers more competitive pay scales than private hospitals and clinics,” they added.

Moreover, they said, nurses are exposed to hazardous substances and viruses in private hospitals without the benefit of hazard pay.

“Healthcare workers in the public health sector receive hazard pay amounting to P9,000 per month, while those in the private health sector only receive P100-300 per month if they have a recognized union,” the group lamented.

At the end of the day, they said, people will go for the job which is “safer and could better provide for them and their families.”

As the proposed lifting of the public health emergency looms, UPHUP continues to demand the provision of compensation granted to healthcare workers as they continue to render services. 

Image credits: Mactong70 |