No oversupply of nurses with understaffed public hospitals, Anakbayan tells DOLE
“How can there be an oversupply of Filipino nurses when our own public hospitals are suffering from a severe shortage of nurses?”
This was the question of Anakbayan spokesperson Charisse Bañez to claims by Dept. of Labor and Employment (DOLE) secretary Rosalinda Baldoz that the demand for our local nurses is declining.
According to the Alliance of Health Workers, the 20,000 plantilla positions for nurses in the Dept. of Health (DOH) has not been filled up since 1985. In fact, the number of nurses in public hospitals has gone down from 19,052 to 17,000 in 2003-2008, according to data from the National Institute for Health.
“Baldoz’s analysis is unforgivably one-sided. Even if we assume that there really is a decline in overseas demand for our nurses, that doesn’t mean that there are no jobs waiting for them” said the youth leader.
She said “Instead of prepping our nurses to take low-paying and demeaning jobs, the DOLE should join us in calling for a higher budget for the DOH, which would lead to decent salaries for public hospital employees and personnel”.
In the proposed 2011 budget, funding for the 55 public hospitals nationwide would be slashed by P363.7 million. In the same budget, GOCC hospitals would be reduced by P970.6 million. Some GOCC hospitals include the National Kidney and Transplant Institute, the Phil. Heart Center, Lung Center of the Philippines, and Philippine Children’s Medical Center. The University of the Philippines, from which the Phil. General Hospital receives its funding, is set to receive a budget cut of P1.39 billion.
“It’s a case of hitting two birds with one stone: you provide a decent livelihood for the tens of thousands of nursing school graduates every year, and you also improve our health system” added Bañez.