Better pay instead of revamped program to address nursing crisis — group

Gaea Katreena Cabico - Philstar.com
Better pay instead of revamped program to address nursing crisis � group
This photo taken on September 16, 2022 shows a nurse walking along a hallway before entering an intensive care unit for COVID-19 patients at a hospital in Manila.
AFP / Kevin Tristan Espiritu

MANILA, Philippines — The country’s nursing crisis can be better addressed by raising the salaries of nurses and improving their work conditions, instead of revamping the curriculum, a group said. 

“In the current status of Philippine health human resources, the education and training at this stage is not the critical issue. With the code red signal of massive nurses’ migration and other workers, the focus should be on the recruitment and retention,” the Filipino Nurses United (FNU) said in a statement. 

The Commission on Higher Education last week proposed a curriculum that will offer nursing students early credentials after a year or two to address the shortage of nurses in the Philippines.

CHED expects graduates of nursing diploma programs to have careers as nursing associates, community health nurses, and associate maternal and child nurses.

“At this point, its is not the CHED that should be in the front stage,” FNU said, stressing that the Department of Labor and Employment can be called upon to increase the entry salary of nurses to P50,000 and the Department of Health to address the understaffing and unsafe nurse-to-patient ratio in the country. 

Economic relief 

Many nurses, who are often overworked and underpaid, seek better opportunities abroad. 

Citing government data, FNU said that 316,405 or 51% of the 617,898 licensed nurses in the Philippines have migrated to other countries. Only 172,598 or 28% are working in local healthcare facilities. 

Meanwhile, 20% of them are either unemployed, underemployed or in non-nursing jobs.

“How could we encourage and retain nurses with the meager offer of P570 per day income in the private sector in the National Capital Region and much lower in other regions?” FNU asked. 

Public nurses are entitled to Salary Grade 15 or just over P35,000. 

FNU called on President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. to order a wage increase for nurses, similar to the move of former President Rodrigo Duterte to raise the salaries of uniformed personnel.

The organization noted that while the proposed wage increase may not be adequate and competitive with opportunities abroad, this “could provide economic relief, if not sustain a decent living and definitely satisfy a family’s basic needs.”

vuukle comment



  • Latest
  • Trending
Are you sure you want to log out?

Philstar.com is one of the most vibrant, opinionated, discerning communities of readers on cyberspace. With your meaningful insights, help shape the stories that can shape the country. Sign up now!

Get Updated:

Signup for the News Round now

or sign in with