Marcos supports proposed ladderized program for nurses

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MANILA – President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has supported the proposal to offer a “ladderized” program for nurses.

This comes after he pitched the proposed ladderized program during his meeting with members of the Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC) at Malacañang Palace in Manila on Thursday.

Marcos and the PSAC talked about the difficulties the Philippine health sector is currently facing, particularly the exodus of nurses and other medical personnel.

According to Marcos, the proposal would aid bolster the country’s health sector and address the supposed “brain drain,” or the departure of professionals from the country for better pay or living conditions.

“I like the ladderized idea for the nurses because that’s really becoming a problem – the brain drain that we are suffering,” Marcos said during the meeting, as quoted by the Presidential News Desk (PND). “They are so good everybody wants them, and they are willing to pay for it, and we are not, or we’re not able. So we have to come up with some strategies for that.”

During Marcos’ meeting with the PSAC, Health officer-in-charge Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire brought up the ladderized program, according to the PND release.

The University of the Philippines-Manila and select local government units (LGUs), Vergeire noted, are already implementing the ladderized program.

“So this ladderized program, there is this counterpart with local government. So we now have a couple of local governments that we have piloted this with. But of course, this would be – eventually para makapag-produce tayo nang madami (this would eventually help us produce more),” Vergeire said.

UP Manila offers a two-year scholarship under the program for midwives who come back to the community to serve upon course completion. They return to UP Manila once they gain experience to study nursing for another two years.

The PND said PSAC Healthcare lead Paolo Maximo Borromeo also proposed to tap the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) to help address the issues in the health sector.

“What the hospitals do is they train them further, another 30 days to do IG, to do phlebotomy, or ‘yung (the) nasal – NGT. And it improves the ratio of beds that nurses [are] able to do in hospitals. Quick win like that is easy to do if you can encourage more nursing aides,” Borromeo said.

Provide scholarships, better pay

Marcos also suggested offering scholarships to medical practitioners for them to avoid considering overseas employment for better opportunities.

Providing scholarships, Marcos said, would help sway doctors, nurses, and medical practitioners to stay in the country.

Borromeo also proposed amending Republic Act 9173, also known as the Philippine Nursing Act, to institutionalize nursing aides and nurse practitioners.

He stated that there should be provisions that would increase the salaries and provide benefits for nurses.

As of now, government hospital nurses are compensated more than those working in the private sector.

The government may craft a policy mandating equal pay for nurses from the public and private sectors, according to the PSAC.

The data from the Department of Health showed that there are around 617,000 licensed nurses in the country, with 28 percent or 172,000 of them working in both public and private health facilities.

Fifty-one percent or 316,000 licensed nurses have already migrated, while 21 percent are working in other areas other than healthcare.

House committees to hold hearings during break

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Spread the loveMANILA – The House of Representatives has authorized for its committees to conduct hearings during the five-week congressional break, extending until late April.