Health Human Resource Needs of Government Hospitals in the Philippines

Noel D. Lawas, Richard S. Javier, Carl Abelardo T. Antonio,
Emerito Jose A. Faraon, Ma. Susan T. Yanga-Mabunga and Eufemia M. Tobias

Department of Health Policy and Administration,
College of Public Health, University of the Philippines Manila

Objective. To describe the health human resource needs of government hospitals in the Philippines.

Methods. All 733 licensed government hospitals were included in a survey except 75 of them which the Department of Health have been deploying medical specialists and medical officers to augment the needs of these 75 hospitals.

Results. A total of 96 government hospitals responded to the self-administered survey questionnaire sent to them. Analysis showed 20% to 29% among the level 2, level 3 and level 4 hospital responders have their Chief of Hospitals still without a master’s education degree as required by the Department of Health. Fifty-nine percent (59%) of all hospitals do not have nearby medical educational institutions while 28% of them do not have nearby nursing educational institutions.

The greatest need, however, is in the adequacy of the number of doctors and nurses. The minimum required number of doctors and nurses has not been met based on the staffing pattern standards set by the Department of Health for the different hospital categories and by the required 40 work hours per week set for civil servants.

Conclusion. The decline in the adequate number of health human resources noted to start when local public hospitals were devolved from the national government to the local government units in 1991. With this inadequacy, one cannot expect these public hospitals to provide even fair quality of hospital care; thus, the need for the national government to intervene.

Key Words: Philippine public hospitals, health human resource needs, staffing needs