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Health Workers' Day Philippines

Health Workers' Day Philippines

Alliance of Health Workers Trade union


Rm. 603, Web Jet Building #64 Quezon Avenue cor. BMA Avenue

Alliance of Health Workers (AHW) is an alliance of unions, organizing health professionals and health workers advocating the welfare and advancement of health workers rights in the Philippines as well as the people's right to health. It has 27,000 members from all over the Philippines, mainly from public hospitals and health institutions, primarily members of affiliated trade unions. It comprised more than 60% of the total personnel of the Philippines' Department of Health.

Currently, the organization is at the forefront of organizing all health workers in the country especially in large health institutions such as hospitals to organize them into unions for collective bargaining and negotiation for better salaries, benefits and privileges.  It is also involved in forming alliances with other organizations aimed at the formation of partnerships to promote better public health services for all the people. For the past years the focus of AHW has been on the struggle to counter the privatization of 72 public hospitals that are working under the Department of Health. Just recently they could claim an initial victory in this regard, now that Megawide Corporation withdrew from the contract to privatize the Philippine Orthopedic Center.

On 6th May 2016 AHW set a protest action for Health Workers’ Day in a show of support for the midwives and other health workers of the Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital. In the manifestation they were supported by the Young Christian Workers of the Philippines. There are plans to demolish several of the buildings of the hospital which may result in the loss of employment of the affected midwives and other health workers.

Fabella Hospital is the national maternal hospital (or "baby factory") and has been operating for 96 years. It is recognized even internationally for its contributions to maternal health in the Philippines, especially for the poorest mothers who are able to give birth there at little or no cost. Despite its limited resources, it has provided tertiary specialty care to mothers and children with more than 100% occupancy rate and an average of 1,000 patients per day. As of 2015 it was recognized by the WHO “as a role model of the World Health Organization-Western Pacific Region Office for essential newborn care programs, which have been proven to reduce infant morbidity and mortality”. If the closure pushes through, where will the many expectant mothers from poor communities and far-flung provinces go to give birth when the replacement institution only has 400 bed capacity instead of the 700 bed capacity operating currently at Fabella? The situation leaves haunting uncertainty for the 1,300 employees who will be displaced by the Fabella closure. Already, resident physicians received termination contract letters from the management. In a country where maternal deaths have soared as high as 221 per 100,000 population despite a target of 52 per hundred thousand in the 2015 Millenium Development Goals and amid the Department Of Health's No Home Birthing Policy, it is imperative that Fabella Hospital must be saved.