Yes, the Department of Health Human Resource for Health Deployment Program (DOH HRHDP) will continue in 2021, and it will get an even bigger budget for its implementation.
HRHDP is a thrust of DOH to deploy, redistribute, and retain health workers in the country to enhance access to quality health services. Priority areas are far-flung, geographically-isolated, disadvantaged, and remote communities with inadequate health personnel. Nurses, doctors, dentists, pharmacists, medical technologists, midwives, nutritionist-dietitians are the health workers under the program.
Department of Budget and Management (DBM) has already submitted to Congress the proposed national budget for the Fiscal Year 2021 National Expenditure Program (NEP) amounting to P4.506 Trillion.
In the NEP 2021, DOH will get a budget of P 203.1 billion (including the budget for the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation), higher than P177.7 billion allocated this year. Of the amount, P16.6 billion will be for Human Resources for Health Program, which only got P8.5 billion this year.
In a statement, DBM said that it “considers the huge additional hiring of health workers under the Human Resource for Health Program of the Department of Health (DOH), the second tranche implementation of the Salary Standardization Law of 2019” as the reason for higher budget allocation.
The agency added that “ensuring the efficient and sufficient deployment of HRH” is one of the budget priorities in 2021. No details yet on how many health workers will be hired for next year.
Higher than this year’s budget by 9.9 percent and equivalent to 21.8 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the theme of the proposed 2021 national budget is “Reset, Rebound, and Recover: Investing for Resiliency and Sustainability”.
“The PhP4.506 trillion proposed Cash Budget for Fiscal Year 2021 will focus on containing the spread and mitigating the effects of the virus while restarting the economy to help the nation reset, rebound, and recover from the crisis. It will sustain and strengthen efforts to bolster the health care system, ensure food security, invest in physical and digital infrastructure, and provide support and protection for the most vulnerable and affected sectors of society,” DBM said.