Thousands of government nurses under the Department of Health (DOH) deployment programs may lose their jobs next year unless cuts in the the proposed 2019 national budget of the department are restored, a lawmaker said Friday.
House Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr. revealed that the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) reduced the DOH budget from P9.6 billion this year to only P1.2 billion for 2019, which will result to mass lay-off of around 6,755 nurses under the Nurse Deployment Program (NDP).
Currently, there are 15,893 NDP nurses are deployed in rural areas, poor towns and urban centers with high poverty incidence throughout the country.
Aside from nurses, the number of doctors deployed will also be reduced, from 293 to 243; dentists, from 324 to 241; and midwives, from 4,000 to 3,650.
“This is one area up for discussion because of its impact on the delivery of health services to the people who need them most. Will the cuts put in ICU the health system in remote areas?” Andaya said.
“Let us find ways to save their jobs,” he added.
NDP is part of Human Resource for Health Deployment Programs (HRHDP) of DOH where health professionals such as nurses, doctors, midwives, medical technologists, dentists, pharmacists and other allied health workers are hired and deployed to rural health units, birthing centers, and barangay health stations.
This year, NDP nurses are receiving monthly salary of P31,765, based on third tranche of salary standardization of law. Following the fourth tranche to be implemented next year, they will receive P33,584 monthly.