PBBM supports proposed ladderized program for nurses

President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr. has expressed support for the proposal to offer a "ladderized" program for nurses. 

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

Marcos and the PSAC discussed the challenges confronting the Philippine health sector, particularly the exodus of nurses and other health professionals.

Marcos said the proposal would help strengthen 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." 

According to the PND release, it was Health officer-in-charge Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire who mentioned the ladderized program during Marcos' meeting with the PSAC. 

Vergeire noted that the University of the Philippines-Manila and select local government units (LGUs) 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. 

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

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, the PND said. This, as Borromeo said TESDA is offering a six-month nursing aide course that produces graduates who could be deployed in hospitals after a few months. 

"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 

Acknowledging the problems posed by brain drain in the health sector, Marcos also suggested offering scholarships to medical practitioners for them to avoid considering overseas employment for better opportunities. 

Marcos said providing scholarships would help sway doctors, nurses, and medical practitioners to stay in the country. Borromeo also suggested the institutionalization of nursing aides and nurse practitioners by amending Republic Act 9173 or the Philippine Nursing Act. 

He said there should be provisions that would raise the salaries and provide benefits for nurses. Currently, nurses employed in government hospitals get higher salaries than those working in the private sector. 

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

 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, according to the data from the Department of Health. 

Fifty-one percent or 316,000 licensed nurses have already migrated, while 21 percent are working in other areas other than healthcare. (By Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos, PNA)

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  1. Kung may, ganitong layunin kayo ay, bakit hindi pa ang mg item n lang sa mga nurse NDP ay ang government.ang ibibigay, n budget sa, LGU dahil sa, mandanas ruling ay gmitin n lmang sa, mga nurse. Ang sabi ng namumuno sa ibang bayan hindi ko n llang babangtin kung saan, ay, hindi daw nmn nila, kaya, ihire lahat ng nurse o kming mga, NDP. SO anong mangyayari mga unemployed ang kakalabasan ng karamihan samin n ngtrabho, sa, community ng 3 taon pataas. Gagamitin lang ng LGU ang budget n dagdag sa, knila, sa, ivang project kawawa ang mga nurse tlga.

  2. Regularisation...

  3. how about nurses who are working as educators in the higher education? we aimed to produce good quality nurses but our salaries are not increase especially those who are working as contractual nurse educators.. I hope we will be included also in these.. thank u president BBM