Marcos orders CHEd to address shortage of nurses due to migration
MANILA, Philippines — President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. has ordered the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to address the shortage of nurses due to migration.
During a meeting with the Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC) Healthcare Sector group in Malacanang Palace Wednesday, Marcos said the shortage of nurses has been affecting the delivery of effective healthcare.
“We have to be clever about the healthcare manpower. Our nurses are the best. We are competing with the rest of the world for them. All the presidents, prime ministers I have talked to are asking for more nurses from the Philippines.” he said, speaking in a mix of English and Filipino, as quoted by the Presidential Communications Office (PCO).
In response to the president, CHED Chairperson Prospero de Vera III his commission was already carrying out interventions to address the shortage of nurses.
These include retooling those who failed board examinations, adopting a nursing curriculum with exit credentials, redirecting nonpracticing nurses, and conducting exchange programs with other countries.
“Under the nursing curriculum with exit credentials, students could have several options: exit at the end of Level I or II, obtain the certificate or diploma in nursing, or choose to continue and finish the four-year nursing program to become a registered nurse,” De Vera said.
He added that CHED was also working on a flexible short-term masteral program to address the lack of instructors in nursing and medical schools.
The Department of Health (DOH), according to its officer in charge, Undersecretary Rosario Vergeire, is also assessing the status of the proposed legislation on the Magna Carta for Public Health Care Workers and Philippine Nursing Act while doing a study on the standardization of salaries of nurses, doctors, and healthcare workers.
In November last year, Marcos said the government might resort to providing scholarships for nurses and other medical workers to encourage them to stay and serve in the country.
Apart from the issue of the shortage of nurses, PCO said it was agreed during the meeting that the PSAC would monitor new technologies in healthcare that could be used for geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas and recommend those to the DOH and PhilHealth.
The PSAC will also study the feasibility of establishing remote diagnostics centers and assess new medical technologies and their costs.
Aside from the CHED Chairperson and DOH OIC, those who attended the PSAC meeting include Sabin Aboitiz Strategic convenor president and CEO Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc.; Paolo Maximo Borromeo, Healthcare lead president and CEO of Ayala Healthcare Holdings Inc; Fr. Nicanor Austriaco Jr., Healthcare Sector Member and Filipino-American molecular biologist and Dr. Nicanor Montoya, Healthcare Sector Member and CEO of Medicard Philippines, Inc.