DOH chief seeks higher pay for psychologists, psychiatrists

Rhodina Villanueva – The Philippine Star

October 13, 2023 | 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Health Secretary Teodoro Herbosa yesterday urged the Civil Service Commission (CSC) to review the requirements being asked of clinical psychologists and psychiatrists in order to practice their profession.

At the launch of the “Philippine Council for Mental Health (PCMH) Strategic Framework” at the Rizal Park Hotel in Manila, Herbosa said much is asked of psychologists and psychiatrists who are only assigned salary grade 11.

“The problem in (the field of) psychology in government is that there is a need for a master’s degree but is only assigned salary grade 11,” said the Department of Health (DOH) chief.

The official stressed that a higher salary should be given psychologists.

He added, “How can we encourage applicants for guidance counselor items if that is the case. I’m calling the CSC to change that.”

The official cited as an example nurses who are assigned salary grade 15. “They don’t have master’s degree yet, but they are assigned salary grade 15. That should also be (salary grade) 15 or even higher (for psychologists).”

In partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO), the DOH yesterday launched the PCMH Strategic Framework to guide the development and implementation of mental health policies, programs and services to address the significant burden of mental illness and improve mental health and well-being in the country.

The five-year strategic plan aims to reduce premature mortality, prevent and treat substance abuse effectively, and reduce the vulnerability of individuals and communities to mental, neurological and substance use disorders.

“Today, as we launch the 2024-2028 PCMH Strategic Framework, I am confident that we can address more mental health concerns in the country,” said Herbosa.

“We commit to implementing pro-equity strategies to ensure access to universal health care and develop resilient health systems in the country that respond to the mental health and well-being needs of every citizen,” WHO Representative to the Philippines Dr. Rui Paulo de Jesus said.


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