Senate Press Release: Legarda Seeks Inquiry into Concerns of Nurses and their Profession

Senate of the Philippines, 15th Congress
Press Release
December 8, 2010

Legarda Seeks Inquiry into Concerns of Nurses and Their Profession

Senator Loren Legarda has sought an inquiry into urgent concerns of Filipino nurses and the nursing profession, noting that the problems faced by the country’s health professionals reflect a failure on the part of government to promote the people’s right to health.

Through Senate Resolution No. 304, Legarda urged the Senate Committee on Health and Demography to conduct an investigation on the serious concerns of the country’s nursing sector with the end in view of protecting the rights of nurses and their profession.

“Our nurses are hindered from efficiently performing their duties as primary health care providers. One of the most serious concerns is the anomaly in the hiring of nurses who, instead of getting remuneration for their work, have to pay in exchange for work certification and training experience,” Legarda said.

The Senator also voiced concern on the lack of plantilla positions for nurses in government hospitals; contractualization of nurses; lack of supervision over the condition of Filipino nurses working abroad resulting to delayed assistance; and the non-implementation of decent wage and due benefits according to law.

Legarda explained that under the Nursing Law of 2002 (RA 9173) and the Magna Carta of Public Health Workers (RA 7305), the entry salary of a nurse in the government should be at Salary Grade 15 or about Php25,000, and that they are entitled to benefits such as hazard pay, subsistence allowance and night shift differential.

She also explained that the lack of budget for the health sector affects the delivery of health services especially for the very poor and those in far-flung communities.

“The government has to take immediate, concrete steps to resolve these problems that affect our health workers so that they can efficiently fulfill their duties without having to worry about how to make ends meet,” Legarda said.

“Unless we provide the adequate protection to our nurses, we cannot enforce the guarantees expressed in the 1987 Constitution to promote the people’s right to health, much less achieve the Millennium Development Goals, to which we have committed,” she concluded.

Source: http://www.senate.gov.ph/press_release/2010/1208_legarda1.asp

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