PNoy urged: Start caring for our nurses

KABATAAN Party-list Rep. Raymond ‘Mong’ Palatino today urged President Aquino to start caring for our nurses by instigating much-needed reforms in light of the Nursing Licensure Examinations (NLE) results which have once again exposed the various problems confronting our nurses and the healthcare system.

“It is now the case that our nurses and health workers are in much need of care and assistance as problems flood their profession. Two salient issues we should immediately address is unemployment and unjust working conditions.  The nurses cannot effectively provide health care to others if their own welfare is uncared for,” Palatino said.

Palatino said that based on hiring trends, only as much as half of the the 30,000 exam-passer will likely get jobs. According to estimates, around 100,000 nursing graduates are currently unemployed.

“We must understand that the current problems faced by our nurses and health professionals are borne out of policies of the previous administration. The aggressive exporting of our nurses should be discontinued especially now that the global demand for nurses has waned. It will be disastrous for our nurses if the Aquino government will continue to tread on this path of labor-export policy,” Palatino said.

Instead of sending our nurses abroad, Palatino said that the Aquino government should instead focus on providing for our nurses and healthcare professionals local jobs with decent pay.

“I do not think that the oversupply of nurses is bad per se. The situation is in fact ripe for us to utilize our nurses to provide much-needed healthcare to our people. The huge number of unemployed nurses only becomes a problem due to the government’s lack of a proper health plan,” Palatino said.

Instead of getting decent jobs, Palatino said that nurses are forced to put up with unjust working conditions like paying various fees to get certification.

Palatino is pushing for a House inquiry on various fees which hospitals charge from nurse-trainees.

Palatino also said that the Aquino government should be more aggressive not only in generating jobs for our nurses, but also in building more hospitals and community clinics especially in the rural areas where healthcare is dismal.

He furthered that President Aquino should spend more on health and increase the ‘sickly’ health budget for 2011 which is only P39-B.

“The decaying condition of our nurses and healthcare system reflects the social disease that pervades our country. This will further aggravate unless President Aquino starts exercising political will by thoroughly addressing the plight of our nurses and the health needs of our people,” Palatino said.

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