Public and private
hospitals in the Philippinesare now not allowed to require cash payment for nurses who want to acquire work
experience by signing up as volunteer nurses.
This rule is stated in House
Bill 5445 that was recently approved by the House of Representatives on second
reading. The new bill aims to prevent the exploitation of registered nurses who
offer their services as volunteer nurses in public or private hospitals.
Negros Occidental Rep. Alfredo Marañon III, the chairman of House committee
on health endorsed the bill for plenary. House Bill 5445 replaced House Bill
767 which was authored by Laguna Rep. Edgar San Luis.
San Luis said, “With the decline of demand for nurses in the United States and the United Kingdom, more nursing
graduates end up unemployed while many of them shifted to work at call centers,
retail stores and other non-professional positions. Those who are lucky enough
to obtain employment abroad usually end up as caregivers, dental assistants and
According to the Laguna Rep., Filipino nurses today agrees to pay hospitals
to be a volunteer nurse and gain the training they need because of the fact
that employment opportunities for them in the country is so scarce.
San Luis said, “This is plain and simple exploitation. No matter
how the hospital administrators call the pernicious practice, whether it is
training, skills building, volunteer work or whatever, it is unfair to the
nurses and their parents who toiled hard and spent money just so their children
will become nurses.”
The bill specifies that all who will not comply with the new law
will face one year imprisonment and a fine of P500,000. It also requires the Board
of Nursing, Department of Health (DOH) and the Professional Regulation
Commission (PRC) to review all the training programs for registered nurses that
are being implemented in hospitals.
The bill states that only the programs that will receive accreditation
from the DOH and the PRC Board of Nursing will be implemented and be allowed to
charge corresponding fees.
Furthermore, the law states that any nurse volunteer who will be
asked to pay the hospital will be entitled to a full refund of the amount paid plus
interest of six percent per annum until it is fully paid.
Hospitals are also required to
pay nurse trainees for their services. The salary is equivalent to Salary Grade