The government is planning to hire half of the nurses serving in the Registered Nurses for Health Enhancement and Local Service Project (RN Heals) program by next year and offer them higher salary, Health Secretary Enrique T. Ona said.
The new government nurses may earn a monthly salary of P16,000, a significant increase from the P8,000 allowance they receive from the Department of Health (DoH) every month.
At present, the RN Heals program trains and deploys almost 20,000 nurses to provide healthcare in poor communities across the country.
“We will cut into half the number of nurses to be hired next year. This is the plan,“ Ona said. “They will be paid the real compensation of a nurse which is about P16,000,“ he added.
Ona said the hiring of the new nurses by January 2014 is still subject to President Aquino’s approval. He remained confident though that the President will approve the proposal.
The Health secretary explained that the RN Heals program, initiated in 2010, was just an emergency measure to meet the shortage of health workers in far-flung provinces. The project also sought to provide training to unemployed nurses.
Ona said the RN Heals program may last for two more years since the government hospitals will be financially capable of absorbing the nurses by then. (Genalyn D. Kabiling)
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