A new house bill proposed by Aurora
Rep. Juan Edgardo Angara, aims to amend the Nursing Act of 2002 and double the
salary of nurses working in local hospitals and health centers. To upgrade the
salary of nurses to Salary Grade 15, the amendment of Nursing Act of 2002 is
Rep. Angara said, "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."
The House Bill No. 5780 filed by Angara would also mandate the hospitals and other medical
institutions to give incentives and benefits to nurses.
As of this writing, Filipino
nurses working in hospitals receive Php5,000 to R7,000 while nurses working in
clinics and small private hospitals get Php4,000.
According to Angara,
the Republic Act No. 9173 or the Nursing law needs to be amended to deal with
the increase of nursing graduates which is the effect of the mushrooming of nursing
schools in the country.
Angara who is also the chairman of House
Committee on Higher Education said that the Nursing law was enacted when there
are only 251 nursing schools. Today, there are 491 nursing schools with 2,668,046
nursing students. From 2000 to 2010, only 491,900 graduated and only 365,625
passed the Nursing Licensure Examination (NLE).
The congressman also expressed
sadness over the fact that even if there is an oversupply of nurses in the Philippines, we
are yet to achieve the ideal nurse to patient ratio of 1 is to 4 per shift.
The nurse-to-patient ratio in Philippine
General Hospital is 1 is to 15-26 per shift while in Davao del Sur, the ratio
is 1 is to 44 to 45 per shift.
To solve the said issue, the creation
of National Nursing Career Progression Program is proposed. This program will
get funding from the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, the Philippine
Amusement and Games Corp., and the Professional Regulation Commission.
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.