Private Healthcare in the Philippines is better quality at a higher price. The disparity between government facilities and those corporations is notable – more so in the labor standards. This is most evident in the Department of Labor and Employment’s Department Order No. 187 (DOLE DO-187). These implementing orders highlight how private healthcare labor standards and working conditions should be executed.
Patients to Work Hours Ratio
Healthcare is a practice that regularly goes past the 8-hours prescribed by law. DOLE DO-187 gives insight as to an ideal patient to work hour ratio. The guidelines articulate that the regular 8-hour work day only applies to physicians with either or both a local population of at least 1-million or facilities that can accommodate at least a hundred patients.
Collective Bargaining and Nightshifts
Those in the practice of healthcare have the right to organize unions for the sake of collective bargaining. This was a previously contested claim as unionization often led to protest strikes which could realistically endanger patients.
Continuing with the theme of work hours, the law provides that prior to setting night shifts, representatives of unions be first consulted. These consultations must be conducted regularly before any implementation.
Waiting Time and Compressed Workweeks
The regulation considers waiting time (i.e., the time it takes to make endorsements) may be considered as working time if the physician is made to wait during this time.
Additionally, professionals handling chemicals or noise that exceed threshold levels are prohibited from engaging in compressed workweek schedules.
Personal Protective Equipment
Considering the budget for healthcare in the Philippines, many professionals in healthcare are often unaware that expenses for PPEs are required by law to be shouldered by the institutions.