Sunday, March 11, 2012

Salary Grade 15 for nurses

Aurora Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara initiated moves to amend Nursing Act of 2002, which is required to upgrade the level of compensation of nurses equivalent to Salary Grade 15 in the government.

"The minimum base pay of nurses in public and private health and health-related institutions should be in accordance with prevailing salary standards set by law for professionals," Angara said.

He filed House Bill No. 5780 that requires the hospitals and other medical institutions to provide incentives and benefits to nurses.

Filipino nurses working in hospitals get a monthly pay ranging from R5,000 to R7,000, while those working in clinics and small private hospitals get R4,000.

Angara said the nursing law or Republic Act No. 9173, which was enacted when there were only around 251 schools, needs to be amended to cope with the growing number of nurses produced by 491 nursing schools today.

Angara, chairman of House Committee on Higher Education, said 2,668,046 students enrolled in nursing schools. Only 491,900 graduated with 365,625 of them passing the nursing board examinations from 2000 to 2010.

He lamented that despite the oversupply of nurses, the country is far from achieving the ideal nurse to patient ratio of 1 is to 4 per shift.

The Philippine General Hospital has a nurse-to-patient ratio of 1 is to 15 to 26 per shift, while Davao del Sur has a province-wide ratio of 1 is to 44 to 45 per shift.

Reforms such as the creation of National Nursing Career Progression Program, which will get funding from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, the Philippine Amusement and Games Corp., and the Professional Regulation Commission, are believed to address the issue.

Angara's bill provides that foreign nurses who are either working for a fee or for free are required to get a temporary work permit from the Board of Nursing.

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