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The Ethics for Public Health Workers

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Republic Act 7305 referred to as the Magna Carta of Public Health Workers prescribes the ethical standards for public health workers, in addition to Magna Carta benefits. Under Section 14 of R.A 7305, the Secretary of Health, upon consultation with other appropriate agencies, professional and health worker’s organization, was tasked to formulate and prepare a Code of Conduct for Public Health Workers.

The Code of Conduct was promulgated on November 1999,more or less, seven (7) years after the law was passed.The Code of Conduct adopted the following general principles:

  • The primary essence of public health is service to mankind. Financial gain is merely a

    secondary consideration and there is no discrimination as to race, sex or political affiliation.

  • ·Standards must be observed in the practice of profession .
  • ·Proper use of technical knowledge to best serve the clients.
  • ·Obedience to law and cooperation to proper authorities related to respective profession.
  • ·Upgrading of knowledge and skills for a more effective delivery of health services.
  • ·Team cooperation in a total and integrated delivery of health service
  • ·PHWs have obligations  to safeguard the co-workers’ legitimate interest, reputation and dignity
  • ·To look at DOH as lead agency on health.

The values required from  PHWs are as follows:

·         Humane:

  1. Accord respect to clients befitting a human being.
  2. Service to clients must be to the best of PHWs physical and intellectual capacity
  3. Compassionate and responsive to clients’ needs
  4. Giving appropriate information to clients to aid them arrive at a fair decision as regards their health and medical condition
  5. At all times, uphold the sanctity of human life, and
  6. Not to directly or indirectly participate in acts curtailing life

 ·         Possession of personal integrity and that of his profession:

  1. Continue to improve his knowledge, expertise and skills for professional development
  2. Practice his profession to the best of his ability
  3. Do not claim authority or expertise on matters beyond his position or capacity
  4. Shall not use his position to obtain personal favor
  5. Role model for respectable and healthful lifestyle
  6. Promote favorable public image of public health workers, and
  7. Faithfully abide by the Code of Conduct of his profession.

·         Just:

  1. Treat person with equality, without bias to race, social class, education, sex, age, physical and mental capabilities, political and religious affiliation, and
  2. Make professional, administrative or technical judgments in favor of the common good and the less privileged, taking into consideration overall cost to the government.

·         Generous in spirit and deed:

  1. Seek to be of service to the state, the public and his/her colleagues
  2. Prepared to respond to emergencies and situations demanding additional manpower or hours of work.
  3. Volunteer to provide the needed service, and
  4. Coordinate  and work with our office, government agencies and private organizations or entities for the furtherance of public health service.

·         Protective of the interest of public health:

  1. Assertive of rights and privileges as a Public Health Worker.
  2. Readily takes risks necessary to perform his/her duties and functions in public health services, and
  3. Practice and protect known and accepted ideals in public health delivery systems and enforce rules, regulations and standards as promulgated by the duly constituted authority without fear or favor.

These ethical standards for public health workers were not repealed despite the passage of Joint Resolution no.4 by the Senate and House of Representatives, which transferred the rule-making power on R.A 7305 to Department of Budget  and Management.

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