An organization of private hospitals has recommended a government adviser on COVID-19 as the next Secretary of Health. President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has yet to name his Health chief.
“Meron po kami nire-recommend. Hopefully siya po ang tanggapin ni President-elect Marcos. But of course, the final decision ay sa kanila pa rin po,” said Dr. Jose Rene de Grano, president of the Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines Inc. (PHAPi).
“We recommended Dr. Ted Herbosa, adviser of the National Task Force against COVID-19.” De Grano disclosed.
Herbosa was Department of Health (DOH) Undersecretary from 2010 until 2015, and executive vice president of the University of the Philippines (UP) from 2017 until 2021.
Meanwhile, De Grano gave assurance that private hospitals are ready in the event of another COVID surge. Majority of admissions in private medical facilities are currently non-COVID patients, he said.
“Private hospitals are always ready for COVID cases. We don’t close our COVID wards.),” he said.
“The problem will be when we will have many cases and we will have a shortage of healthcare workers especially the nurses,” De Grano added.
More than one-half of private hospitals’ staff have left to go abroad to seek higher pay and benefits, he said.
Private hospitals continue to talk with the DOH for health workers’ One COVID allowance, De Grano said.