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VILLANUEVA: WHAT PLAN FOR NCR’S HEALTHCARE SYSTEM?

Senator Joel Villanueva is asking the Department of Health to bare its plan to manage the stress in Metro Manila’s healthcare system as hospitals in the capital region contend with overflow capacity and overstretched manpower.

Villanueva, chair of the Senate labor committee, said the government’s crisis managers should consider regrouping and have a “level-headed” assessment of its existing approaches by calling in hospital bringing in more experts to the discussion table to map out a more effective response.

“Isang taon na pong tayong nasa kalbaryo na dulot ng iba’t ibang antas ng lockdown. Buhay at kabuhayan ng lahat ang direktang tinamaan ng polisiyang ito. Malalagay lamang sa wala ang lahat ng sakripisyo natin kung hindi pa rin malinaw ang plano ng Department of Health upang kontrolin ang pagkalat ng COVID,” the veteran legislator said.

“Now is the time for him to hear stories of those who are in the more dangerous trenches.”

“Our unsolicited and respectful suggestion is for the President to get unfiltered reports from those on the frontlines, from hospital directors who can give him the true picture at the ground. To his credit, the President likes to mingle with the boots on the ground. But now is the time for him to hear stories of those who are in the different, but more dangerous trenches,” the seasoned lawmaker added.

“Malaking tulong po sa kampanya laban sa pandemya kung ang makakausap naman niya ay yung parating nakasuot ng PPE at hindi yung nag-uulat sa pamamagitan ng PPT o Powerpoint,” the senator continued.

He emphasized the importance of ensuring the availability of isolation facilities where mild and asymptomatic patients could be brought to and be given adequate care, instead of them going to hospitals and medical facilities, which should be dedicated for severe and critical patients.

Villanueva also sought an update on the DOH’s emergency hiring plan for healthcare workers, reiterating that these should already have better contract terms now.

“The DOH should consider extending the duration of the employment contract, which initially lasted three months.”

In its launch last year, he had urged the DOH to consider extending the duration of the employment contract, which initially lasted three months.

Villanueva said that people could not be blamed for the “lockdown fatigue” being experienced by many, since workers have to go about their daily grind, and earn a living to provide for their families.

“Habang pinagbabawalan natin lumabas ang karamihan sa ating mga kababayan, dapat pong sapat ang tulong o ayuda ang ipinapaabot ng ating gobyerno. Napakapayak ang rason kung bakit lumalabas ang ating mga manggagawa sa kanilang mga tahanan: No work, no pay,” he concluded.

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