Oversupply of nurses but no jobsBy Candeze R. Mongaya
Cebu Daily News
The country has enough qualified nurses and doctors who don’t have enough job opportunities here, a top health official admitted yesterday.
Health undersecretary Nemesio Gako said the quality of medical staff in the Philippines is globally competitive, but not everyone is given a chance to be employed.
“Other countries confirmed the good quality of our Filipino staff and always prefer us,” Gako told reporters in a press conference yesterday morning.
Health representatives from all over Asia converged on a three-day forum with the Asia Pacific Action Alliance on Human Resources for Health (AAAH).
APAAHRA founder Dr. Suwi Wibulpolprasert said the Philippines is globally impressive in terms of health care policies, but these are not yet implemented. The country is aiming for universal health care by 2013.
He described the Philippines as a “diabetic” with its oversupply of human health resource.
“We provide huge amounts of doctors and nurses but we can’t absorb all of them,” he said.
However, he said the excess number of nurses and doctors is a human resource for the country that can be deployed abroad for additional revenue and development of technology.
For Cebu province, he said the health sector can also capitalize on the presence of many medical school that produces “quality” health staff.
Dr. Akiko Maeda of the Global Health Workforce alliance said local health units should also provide proper benefits for medical practitioners especially on technology and incentives.
“We have to convince them that their environment can attend to their needs,” she said in the press conference.
Health workers should be given special attention so they can improve their work, Dr. Carmen Dolea of the World Health Organization from Geneva said.
“Without health workers, we can’t deliver proper health care,”Dolea said.
She said the “mal-distribution” of nurses and doctors in the country is resulting to the decline of health practitioners specially in the urban areas.