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How to protect yourself from COVID-19, if you are a frontliner?


Island

By the sea

The most perplexing but sad part of COVID-19 Pandemic is, aside from patients, doctors are also dying due to the  virus. Sometimes, they die ahead of patients. As of now, Philippines has nine (9) doctors dead. Nurses, midwives and other health workers in the field and hospitals, police personnel, Bureau of Fire personnel, military and other uniform personnel are not exempted from the risk.

One policeman was reported dead due to the virus and one DOH Director was confirmed positive of COVID-19. This latter incident may finally convert the Department of Health into DOI or Department of the Infected, if given the traditional measures to prevent being infected or developing a full-blown disease.

Lockdown or extended community quarantine, surely, is a failure, based on one Senator’s behavior in spreading the virus in one hospital. As of now, what the government and the private sectors, are offering to protect frontliners are masks, with PPE suits still to be seen worn by them. And perhaps, nothing more, today and in the days to come. (more…)

What to do next, if COVID-19 positive is refused isolation?


MangroveIf the hospital or the Local Chief Executive refuses to isolate you, being COVID-19 positive, in a health facility because of lack of space or could no longer be accommodated, what will you do? I advice that you do steam inhalation therapy, at home, to contain the virus and prevent its further spread, by killing it through the therapy.

The therapy is based on the coughing reflex mechanism of a human body, wherein cough is managed with steam or water vapor to produce mucusal fluids in the lungs or throat to facilitate the coughing out of offending microorganism or elements. Likewise, it has anti-inflammatory property just like in a warm compress, hence, it aids in the healing process of the lungs by way of controlling or getting rid of inflammation caused by dry cough or offending microorganism or foreign elements, which is manifested by bearable pain when inhaling.

Here is the Procedure: (more…)

Steam Inhalation Therapy: Answer to COVID-19 Pandemic


The Publisher_Author

Author: ATTY ALEXIS C. ALBAO, MD, MHA, CSEE

COVID-19 Pandemic brings to fore various behavioral reactions of different sectors of the society, worldwide, and it seems that everybody was caught by total surprise. There is lockdown and other terms that could only be heard today.

From the standpoint of one of the COVID-19 sufferers, she testified that the virus causes irritation of the throat, causes dry cough and thereafter causing fever, as substantial full manifestation of the disease. I doubt if others would testify otherwise, or testify that the initially affected area is not in the respiratory tract.

If the dilemma materializes in the respiratory tract of a person, specifically in the throat, why focus too much on various areas or venues, e.g. too much concern on quarantine pass, where the battle against a virus can be won? Of course, it is not likely on the surfaces, paper money bills or hands, etc., where this virus comes in contact with, either accidentally or {maybe} intentionally, but on the part of the human body, where it first manifests. In short, focus also the efforts in the part of the body, where it first manifested.

Above principle makes the face masks and protective devices, including the traditional preventive health measures, social distancing, lockdown policy, test oriented and hospital care approach as false  assurance in resolving COVID-19 problem. For example regarding lockdown in the Philippines, one policeman already succumbed to the virus. And while it is true that majority are at home quarantine, enforcers, e.g Local Chief Executives, police and the military, including the national officials, are mobile. (more…)

Is salary increase for devolved PHWs possible despite the PS limitation?


Maxi and flowering plants

Maxi and flowering plants

In case, the Local Government Unit (LGU) is about to exceed the budgetary Personal Services (PS) Limitation, is there an alternative remedy for devolved public health workers (PHWs) to get salary increase, at par with their national counterpart? This PS limitation is provided under Section 325 of  R.A 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991. It states, as follows:

Section 325.General Limitations. – The use of the provincial, city, and municipal funds shall be subject to the following limitations:

(a) The total appropriations, whether annual or supplemental, for personal services of a local government unit for one (1) fiscal year shall not exceed forty-five percent (45%) in the case of first to third class provinces, cities and municipalities, and fifty-five percent (55%) in the case of fourth class or lower, of the total annual income from regular sources realized in the next preceding fiscal year. The appropriations for salaries, wages, representation and transportation allowances of officials and employees of (more…)

Are LGU Hospitals and RHUs exempt from PS limitation?


White Flower

White flower

A major issue in devolved health facilities, e.g, devolved hospitals and Rural Health Units (RHUs),  concerns the personal services (PS) limitation being applied to them pursuant to Section 325 (a) of R.A 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991.   This is invoked by majority of budget officers from the local government units (LGUs), thereby likewise limiting the capability of the local government units, in terms of health manpower requirements, to serve the health needs of constituents. Also, it is seemingly supported by some circular issued by Department of Budget and Management, e.g, Local Budget Circular no. 98, issued last October 14, 2011, which is a 180 degrees turn-around stand on the matter, in view of the previous favorable issuance, e.g, concerning public health workers (PHW) benefits under RA 7305, otherwise known as the Magna Carta for Public Health Workers, which exempts local health personnel from its coverage. (more…)

PPHA Magna Carta Benefits Petition Partly Granted


PPHA Convention

PPHA Convention

In G.R. No. 207145, the Supreme Court (SC) en banc ruled on the petition on Magna Carta benefits filed by the Philippine Public Health Association, Inc (PPHAI) against the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), Department of Health (DOH) and the Civil Service Commission (CSC).

The petition, which was decided on July 28, 2015 as partly meritorious, concerns the issues on hazard pay, longevity pay and subsistence allowance under DBM-DOH Joint Circular no. 1 dated November 29,2015 and step increment due to length of service under item 6.5 of DOH-CSC Joint Circular dated September 3, 2012. It was filed last May 31, 2013.

While the Court en banc found the (more…)

Asin Law or R.A 8172 in relation to R.A 9711 explained


Oishi manju

Is Asin Law applicable for Manju Oishi?

What is the relation of Republic Act no 8172 to R.A 9711? And how should the circular of the Department of Health vis-a-vis any issuance of the Food and Drugs Administration concerning the issue be interpreted.

The former law is known as Asin law or “An Act Requiring Salt Iodization Nationwide and for related purposes”. The latter is FDA Act of 2009 or  “An Act Strengthening and Rationalizing the Regulatory Capacity of the Bureau of the Bureau of Food and Drugs (BFAD) by Establishing Adequate Testing Laboratories and Field Offices, Upgrading its Equipment, Augmenting its Human Resource Complement, Giving Authority to Retain its Income, Renaming it to Food and Drugs Administration (FDA), Amending Certain Sections of (more…)

100% salary increase for devolved health workers


Conference

Discussions on salary increase

Is 100% salary increase under Joint Resolution No. 4 not applicable to devolved health workers? To better understand the controversy on the implementation of salary increase under the law, the following antecedent facts may be reviewed.

Under Republic Act no. 7160, basic health services were devolved to the LGUs, more specifically:

1) to the municipalities – the implementation of programs and projects on primary health care, maternal and child care, and communicable and non-communicable disease control services, access to secondary and tertiary health services; purchase of medicines, medical supplies, and equipment needed to carry out the services herein enumerated; (more…)