Philippine Nurses Threaten Mass Resignation Amid COVID Case Spike

Overworked Philippine nurses staged protests and threatened mass resignations if government benefits are not paid by September 1.

The Indian Express reported that the Philippine government had set aside special risk allowances for health care workers, which encompassed their hazard pay and accommodation and transportation allowances. However, health care worker unions claimed that the benefits and compensation have not been distributed yet.

St. Luke’s Medical Center union president Jao Clumia said, “Health care workers are tired and extremely demoralized. Many have already resigned and many more want to.” 

DW reported that Climia said, “When you work in a hospital during a pandemic like COVID-19, you are exposed to the virus. It’s as if you have one foot in your grave already. Our hospitals will close if we don’t address this issue.”

The payout dispute came from a condition set that only health care workers directly handling COVID patients should receive benefits, according to the DW report. However, health care workers claimed that the condition is both unfair and unrealistic.

The Philippine Department of Health coaxed health care worker unions to reconsider plans for mass resignation. Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire said in a press conference, “We understand their points, but we want to explain to them that there are policies that we have to follow.” Vergeire added that this matter might be resolved in a healthy discussion because the country needs more health workers.

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