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‘Overworked, underpaid’ Philippine nurses want better conditions

Regional News
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MANILA (The Philippine Star )— Nurses who described themselves as “overworked and underpaid” nurses denounced the delay in government efforts to address the concern of healthcare workers regarding their safety and family’s well-being amid the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic.

The Filipino Nurses United or FNU said the continuing increase in Covid-19 cases is now taking its toll among nurses that have expressed fears for their safety and that of their families.

FNU vice president Eleonor Nolasco said nurses are restless as they are being swamped with patients who may be infected.

Nolasco said that the protest actions happening at the San Lazaro Hospital or SLH in Manila are expected to “snowball” to other health facilities as more nurses are coming out to call on the government to improve their conditions.

“Our nurses are very worried because the more the number of cases is increasing, the greater the chance for them to get the virus, especially if they do not have adequate supply of PPE (personal protective equipment),” she added.

Aside from safety concerns the nurses also complained of the non-payment of hazard pay or inadequate compensation, extended working hours and the charging of required quarantine period on their leave of absence, among others.

Nolasco added that if not sufficiently protected, more nurses would be infected by the virus, which is what is happening at SLH.

Nolasco gave assurance that nurses are not about to give up but being in an environment where they feel they are not protected is demoralizing them.

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