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Nurses need better pay, work conditions – FNU

MANILA, Philippines — Filipino Nurses United (FNU) yesterday urged the Duterte administration to institute measures to address the sad plight of government nurses who continue to suffer from low wages and poor working conditions.

According to FNU information officer Jossel Ebesate, the attention that the government is giving to uplift the standard of living of policemen, military and other law enforcement agents should also be afforded to health workers. 

“The state is usually after self-preservation so security is really given priority. But what does the state stand for if its people are sick and the health workers are neglected,” he said.

Ebesate noted that the government should treat the health work forces as important, if not more important, as those in law enforcement institutions. 

The call was made amid efforts of the government to increase the salary of soldiers and policemen by 100 percent starting in 2018.

FNU issued a position paper reiterating its call that “justice be duly served our nurses who continue to wallow in low wages and poor work conditions notwithstanding Republic Act 9173 or the Nursing Law of 2002.”

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The law mandates the state to institute measures that “will result in relevant nursing education, humane working conditions, better career prospects and a dignified existence for our nurses.”  

FNU added that under the law, a P25,000 starting salary should be the “benchmark of a reasonable and fair wage for nurses.”

The group said until now, this “remains to be a pipe dream… with a majority of nurses receiving an average of P9,000-P15,000 monthly take-home pay with little or no benefits while at the same time saddled with excessive workload that puts both the nurse’s and the patient’s safety at risk.”

FNU also added that contractualization is rampant in the health sector and it is about time the government ends this practice. 

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