DOH may shelve plan to hire unlicensed nurses

By: Kathleen de Villa - Philippine Daily Inquirer | June 24,2023 - 07:55 PM

Photo of nursing students for story: DOH may shelve plan to hire unlicensed nurses


Health Secretary Teodoro Herbosa on Friday said he would consider shelving his plan of allowing unlicensed nursing graduates to work in public hospitals should it fail to hurdle the “legal roadblocks.”

At a press briefing, Herbosa pointed out that he would welcome other possible solutions to the understaffing of nurses in public hospitals, among them hiring board-eligible graduates as “nursing trainees” who would be put in a “training program.”

“I don’t want to do anything illegal … If an agency tells me it’s illegal, then it’s illegal… I can’t force the issue. But they (other agencies) are with me to find solutions,” he told reporters.

Section 21 of the Philippine Nursing Act allows the grant of a special or temporary permit for a limited period only to foreign nurses invited to the country for a program or medical mission.

This has been raised by the Philippine Board of Nursing, said Herbosa, and so he has proposed to some lawmakers that the law be amended to make the issuance of licenses to board flunkers possible.

Nursing assistants

“They told me, amendment is easy… but they said that the president has to make it urgent,” Herbosa said of his conversation with the Professional Regulation Commission. “That’s the legal side of the problem… I’ll leave it to the lawyers and legislators to help solve the problem,” he added.

Another option is the hiring of nursing assistants under the DOH’s human resources for health program. Under this position, Herbosa noted, unlicensed nursing graduates would be hired under Salary Grade9, equivalent to around P21,000.“It’s being offered as a solution, and that’s going to go forward. It will be open to graduates of college but [are] awaiting to pass exams,” he said.


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TAGS: DOH, graduates, hire, Hospitals, nurses, training, unlicensed

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