Even before the President’s directive for the deployment of uniformed nurses to hospitals, Secretary Eduardo M. Año of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has already deployed 154 licensed nurses of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) to 27 private hospitals nationwide to augment short-staffed hospitals due to the infection of health care workers.
DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan Malaya said that under the BFP's Nurse Deployment Program, 27 private hospitals are now utilizing the services of BFP nurses, while seven (7) other hospitals have also requested for their services following the directive of Secretary Año.
“We want to assure the President that he can rely on the BFP in the augmentation of understaffed hospitals. On top of the currently deployed BFP nurses, we still have 14 remaining licensed nurses to be deployed,” he said.
Out of the 154 BFP nurses deployed nationwide, 14 are currently assigned in Tuguegarao City People’s General Hospital in Cagayan Valley; 19 in Adventist Hospital in MIMAROPA; five in the Legazpi City COVID-19 Center in Bicol Region; 40 in Metro Iloilo Hospital and Medical Center Inc.; 20 in Dr. Rafael S. Tumbokon Memorial Hospital in Western Visayas; 19 in Remedios Trinidad Romualdez Hospital in Eastern Visayas; 10 in South Philippine Medical Center; and nine in Davao Oriental Provincial Hospital in Davao Region.
In the National Capital Region (NCR), a total of 18 BFP nurses have been deployed from August 31, 2021. Out of the 18 nurses deployed, six are working as vaccinators in Muntinlupa City Health Office, six are working as vaccinators in Las Piñas City Health Office, and six are working as nurses in Medical Center Muntinlupa.
Malaya said that under the deployment program, the BFP will closely coordinate with the receiving hospitals regarding concerns of the deployed nurses, as well as coordinate with the deployed nurses regarding administrative concerns such as hazard pay and other benefits of deployed nurses pursuant to existing government rules and regulations. In addition, the BFP will provide transportation of nurses from the point of origin to the designated receiving hospital.
“Given the high risk situation in hospitals, we want to make sure that BFP nurses sent to augment these hospitals are safe and provided with utmost protection,”� he said.
Malaya assured that the deployed nurses will be vaccinated and provided with COVID-19 RT-PCR (Reverse Transcription-Polymerase Chain Reaction) tests prior to, during, and post-deployment.
They will also be given medical assistance including admission to a hospital in case they are infected with COVID-19 during the deployment program if warranted. The Department of Health (DOH) will also provide Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the use of the nurses deployed upon request by the receiving hospitals.