Editorial: Challenge for Davide

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

THE Provincial Government is entering interesting times as far as handling 16 Capitol-managed hospitals is concerned. Interesting because Capitol is changing the staffing scheme adopted by former governor Gwendolyn Garcia with an even older staffing scheme.

In resolutions authored by Provincial Board (PB) Member Peter John Calderon, the PB authorized Gov. Hilario Davide III to hire doctors that would replace those previously outsourced through 5 Stars Amalgamated Manpower and Allied Services Inc.

The direct hiring scheme will not only affect the position of doctors but will also be in place for the positions of nurses, dentists, medical technologists and pharmacists.


But how Capitol will be able to fill up the said positions is the challenge.

While direct hiring is seen as an improvement over outsourcing, which the current Capitol occupants blamed as one of the reasons for inefficient service of the hospitals they are managing, there is one other reality that they need to confront: whether there are enough doctors and medical personnel that would accept those “countryside” jobs and at the pay rate they are offering to these doctors and medical personnel.

In a way, the former Capitol administration used the dearth of medical professionals who would accept these jobs and pay rates as reason why it followed the outsourcing route. By outsourcing, the Garcia administration passed on to private firms the problem of hiring these doctors and medical personnel.

Apparently, reality did not match up to expectations because complaints about poor services in Capitol-managed hospitals persisted. But this does not mean that the situation as far as hiring medical professionals has changed.

Stiff competition from abroad remains and many young doctors and medical personnel use their experience in local hospitals as stepping stone in seeking jobs outside of the country. That means that turnover is fast, and those who stay put locally may not be the best for the job.

That is why the challenge that the Calderon resolutions have placed in front of Davide is rather formidable. It could perpetuate the cycle of direct hiring, outsourcing and back to direct hiring that may not improve the services of Capitol-managed hospitals.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 28, 2014.


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