DOH responds: 12,000 nurses won’t lose their jobs

The Department of Health (DOH) assured thousands of Filipino nurses that they will not be losing their jobs, contrary to a party-list’s claim that 12,000 nurses will lose their job this year.

Asked about the data revealed by Ang Nars Party-list that 12,000 nurses might lose their jobs this year due to lack of budget, DOH Director Ken Ronquillo maintained that claim is not true.

“Not true,” Ronquillo said.

“Can we ask Ang Nars Party-list the source of the 12,000 nurses? Kasi baka newly licensed nurses na nag-accumulate ‘yan. Hindi naman po taun-taon na may dagdag positions for nurses both in the government and private health sector,” he explained.

Yesterday Ang Nars disclosed that an estimated 12,000 nurses might lose their job this year because of lack of budget, while 5,000 already got unemployed in 2017.

[Related: Ang Nars: 12,000 nurses might lose jobs this year]

“[An estimated] 12,000 of 24,000 nurses under the DOH [Department of Health] nurse deployment program will lose their jobs this year because of lack of budget. Last year, 5,000 nawalan ng trabaho (lost their job),” Ang Nars Party-list representative Leah Paquiz said.

Ronquillo, however, clarified that there was a decrease of only 1,379 nurses.

“I do not know the source of Ang Nars Party-list. But if the reference is on the DOH Deployment Program — we have a decrease of 1,379 from 2017. From 20,309 in 2017 to 18,930 in 2018. These nurses are categorized into Public Health Associates that do health data collection and analysis; Family Health Associates for mother and child health; and nurses doing general public health nursing,” he disclosed.

“The decrease in number is due to the increase in salaries following tranche 3 of the salary standardization law using the same budget allocated for the program. Meaning, there was no increase in budget so adjustments were made to appropriate increase in salaries,” he continued.

“Another reason for the decrease in number is for DOH to accommodate LGU requests for other professions needed like nutritionist-dieticians, medical technologists, pharmacists, midwives, dentists,” he further stated.

Ronquillo also assured that the DOH is doing its best to help the nurses.

“Our HR Bureau is now studying our scholarship program to probably decrease funds and allocate to our deployment program so no one is shelved off. This is premised that CHED and academic institutions also provide scholarship grants while only the DOH deploy,” he disclosed.

The DOH official added that plantilla positions for nurses in DOH hospitals also increased.

“Plantilla positions for nurses in DOH hospitals also increased to as much as 50 percent depending on the category of the DOH hospital. As a result of the implementation of staffing standards in DOH hospital, the overall effect is more positions for nurses,” he said. [via Manila Bullein]

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