Marcos pledges to address concerns of health workers nationwide

PRESIDENT Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. is committed to addressing the challenges facing the healthcare industry, particularly preventing healthcare practitioners from leaving the country for better job opportunities.

Marcos discussed with the Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC) the challenges facing the Philippine health sector, in particular the exodus of nurses and other health professionals during a meeting in Malacañang on Thursday, August 11, 2022 .

He expressed his support for the “staggered” program which offers scholarships to healthcare workers.

“I like the idea of ​​ladder for nurses because it really becomes a problem – the brain drain that we are suffering from,” Marcos said at the meeting.

“They’re so good that everyone wants them, and they’re willing to pay for it, and we’re not, or we can’t. So we have to find strategies for that,” he added.

Under Secretary of State Maria Rosario Vergeire, head of the Department of Health (DOH), said the phased program is already being implemented by the University of the Philippines in Manila and several local government units (LGUs).

As part of the program, UP Manila offers a two-year fellowship to midwives who, upon completion of the course, return to the community to serve.

Once they gain experience, they return to UP Manila, where they can study nursing for another two years.

“So this phased program, there is this counterpart with the local government. So now we have a few local governments that we’ve piloted this with. But of course it would be – possibly para makapag – produce tayo nang madami,” Vergeire said.

They also discussed the use of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda), which offers a six-month nursing aide course and produces graduates who could be deployed to hospitals after a few months. .

PSAC health care manager Paolo Maximo Borromeo said hospitals will train them more, which will improve the ratio of beds nurses are able to do.

Borromeo also suggested the institutionalization of health care aides and nurse practitioners in a nursing bill being discussed in Congress.

He said the incorporation of provisions such as improved wages and benefits for nurses would be a big help.

The PSAC said wages and benefits for nurses should also be reviewed, noting that there should be a policy requiring equal pay for healthcare workers in private and public hospitals.

Currently, nurses in public hospitals are better paid than those in the private sector.

Based on DOH data, there are 617,000 registered nurses in the country, of which 28% or 172,000 worked in public and private healthcare facilities, 51% or 316,000 were overseas while 21% n do not exercise their profession. (SunStar Philippines)

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