The Cebu provincial government will hire more doctors to man the 16 provincial and district hospitals run by the provincial government, a local legislator said in a statement Monday.

Cebu provincial board member Christopher Baricuatro said these new doctors will be placed in “on-call” status to provide additional workforce in all provincial and district hospitals.

Baricuatro said the Cebu provincial board has passed his resolution authorizing the governor to hire on-call physicians to augment the medical manpower of the 16 province-run hospitals.

The Cebu provincial government operates 12 district hospitals and four Level 1 medical facilities.

Baricuatro said the measure will allow doctors to provide health care services to these government-owned hospitals once they are hired as contractuals or non-exclusive basis.

“There is a need for the services of qualified, licensed and competent medical practitioners to handle the requirements for on-call special care in hospitals,” he said.

Dr. Rene Catan, Cebu Provincial Health Office (CPHO) chief, said they are already inviting doctors and medical technicians to work for the provincial hospital.

He said they are exerting efforts to entice recruits through a higher pay scale “as compared to their counterparts in the private sector.”

The hiring of personnel is in preparation for the upgrading of four provincial hospitals in the cities of Bogo, Danao and Carcar and in the town of Balamban to Level II, Catan said.

Catan said health is the top priority of Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III’s six-key development agenda.

“The move to boost the manpower of provincial hospitals is part of capitol’s continuous effort to deliver quality healthcare services to its constituents,” Catan said.

He said the provincial hospitals have also started installing new laboratory equipment to provide free clinical examinations to PhilHealth card holders.

These laboratory equipment are expected to become operational this month, he said. (PNA) LAP/BS/EB