Some 900 nurses in Bicol Region working under the Nurse Deployment Project (NDP) of the Department of Health (DOH) have not received their salaries since November 2018.
NDP is one of the program under the DOH Human Resource for Health Deployment Program (HRHDP) which deploys nurses, medical technologists, midwives, dentists, physicians, pharmacists and other health workers to rural communities and local government units around the country. In a letter sent to NDP nurses in Bicol, DOH regional office pointed to their limited notice cash allotment (NCA) and the lack of time in processing by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) as the reasons for the delay of their salaries. DOH-5 OIC Dr. Ernie Vera said that he has already talked to the nurses and apologized to them.
“Humihingi rin kami ng paumanhin sa kanila dahil talaga kahit ano ang gawin namin dito sa regional office kung wala ang support or funds coming from the central, wala rin kaming maibibigay.”
Vera promised that nurses will receive their compensation this January 2019. Nurse advocacy group Ang Nars Partylist said that this situation of government nurses is ‘totally unacceptable’ and ‘the same issues have persisted through all of the government’s deployment programs over the years: N.A.R.S. in 2009, RN HEALS in 2011, and the NDP in 2014.’ “UP TO NOW, THERE IS NO CHANGE IN THE NURSES AND HEALTH WORKER’S CONDITION IN THE DOH, LOCAL GOVERNMENT and PRIVATE INSTITUTIONS! They do not support sustainable human development through generation of living wages, good working conditions, regular and permanent employment for our nurses and health workers,” said Leah Paquiz, Ang Nars President. Paquiz also hit the delayed implementation of DOH HRHDP 2019 because this year’s national budget has not been approved yet. The proposed 2019 national budget is still undergoing refinement under the bicameral conference committee of Congress and is expected to be up for President’s signing middle of February.
“This condition slowly kills the hopes of our nurses and health workers for a better life and future,” she added.
Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) is proposing to lower the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements for professionals, and to exempt overseas Filipino workers (OFW) during the duration of their work abroad.
PRC will present these significant amendments to the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Republic Act 10912 or the CPD Act of 2016, in a consultative meeting by Senate Committee on Civil Service, Government Reorganization and Professional Regulation at 10AM today, February 4. Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, committee chair and author of the CPD Law, asked PRC and heads of Professional Regulatory Boards in a hearing last November 28, 2018 to amend the IRR of the law amidst numerous complaints received by the Senate on the implementation of the law. Instead of abolishing the law, Senators Ralph Recto, Miguel Zubiri and Trillanes enjoined PRC to make the CPD voluntary.
But in the final draft made available online, PRC sticks to the mandatory nature of CPD, but provides a “transition period” for professional to comply the unit requirements. Part of the draft IRR states:
During this transition period the following shall be observed:a) Professionals working overseas shall not be covered by the CPD requirement during the period of their employment abroad.b) Newly licensed professionals shall not be covered by CPD requirement for the first renewal cycle after obtaining their license.c) The various CPD Councils shall reduce the required CPD credit units to a minimum which shall not be more than 15 units, as provided for under applicable laws. PRC also made the CPD programs accreditation faster by making it “deemed approved after 10 working days from receipt thereof if no feedback from the CPD Council is received.”
Forced closure of out patient departments (OPDs) by doctors at provincial government health care facilities turned intense Tuesday as nurses associated with many of these centres joined the protesters for acceptance of their almost similar demands
:Forced closure of out patient departments (OPDs) by doctors at provincial government health care facilities turned intense Tuesday as nurses associated with many of these centres joined the protesters for acceptance of their almost similar demands.
The protesting doctors, mainly comprising internees doing their post graduation as well as those serving in BPS-17 pressing for their demands, as raise in their stipends/salaries besides allowances coupled with insurance coverage, went on strike on Monday. Protesters talking to APP said that unwarranted delay in revision of service structures for paramedics and nurses had been a cause of serious concern for the professionals since long.
In certain Sindh government hospitals of Karachi, Hyderabad, Larkana, Sukkur and Benazirabad (Nawabshah) were also joined by paramedics and nurses, said Dr Wajahat Hussain Naqvi of Young Doctors Association.
Expressing his regret that doctors and other concerned staffers had to resort to strike causing inconvenience to the patients, Naqvi said they were left with no other option.
Mahrukh Zuleikha, staff nurse at Lyari General Hospital said security and revised service structure were the major concern along with salary package at par with healthcare providers in other parts of the country.
“We have not stopped serving patients reporting at emergencies nor those already admitted to different wards are left unattended,” she said. Executive Director of Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Centre, Dr Seemi Jamali acknowledging that service was affected due to closure of OPDs, however, mentioned that a faction of young doctors resumed their responsibilities on Tuesday morning. Meanwhile, provincial health department taking stock of the situation has approached the agitating doctors, paramedics/ nurses and assured to get their “genuine” grievances redressed. “We are here to facilitate the young doctors and all those serving the ailing humanity, however, it would be difficult to budge before those resorting to unethical practices,” a health department official said.
Good news for Filipino nurses as Supreme Court (SC) has finally scheduled an oral argument regarding the implementation of Salary Grade 15 for government nurses.
“One step closer to full implementation of Salary Grade 15,” said Ang Nars Partylist, the nurse advocacy group which questioned the legality of reducing the nurse’s pay scale in public healthcare institutions. Ang Nars received an advisory from SC PIO that the Oral Arguments will be held on Feb. 26, 2019 at 2:00 pm. In January 2015, Ang Nars filed a Petition for Certiorari and Mandamus in the high cour asking for the full implementation of Section 32 of Republic Act 9173 or the Philippine Nursing Act of 2002. The law states that the minimum base pay of nurses working in the public health institutions shall not be lower than salary grade 15.
Based on Fourth Tranche of Salary Standardization Law (SSL) of 2015 which will be implemented this 2019, the Salary Grade 15 for civilian personnel of the national government and in first class provinces and cities is at P30,531.
Joint resolution No. 4 series of 2009, however, was issued by Congress, allowing then President and now Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to modify the compensation and position classification of civilian personnel as well as the base pay of the uniformed personnel. Arroyo then signed Executive Order No. 811 which among others, reduced the base pay of nurses from salary grade 15 to salary grade 11 while the entry base pay is salary grade 10. Among the issues to be debated on the Supreme Court is whether Joint Resolution No. 4 has repealed Section 32 of the Nursing Act. Joining the party-list group in its petition is the Public Services Labor Independent Confederation headed by Annie Geron. Named respondents are the Executive Secretary, Department of Budget and Management and the Department of Health. Ang Nars is enjoining all nurses to support their battle for higher pay scale in the Supreme Court.
“This is a groundbreaking event as VERY FEW PETITIONS are allowed to have oral arguments. We are asking for everyone’s support as we will be organizing a MASS MOBILIZATION ON FEB 26 in front of the Supreme Court. NURSES, we need to raise public clamor for this momentous day,” the group posted on Facebook. (with reports from Inquirer.net)
– The Executive Board, today, designated the year 2020 as the “Year of the Nurse and midwife”, in honor of the 200th birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale. This proposal will now be presented to Member States of the 72nd World Health Assembly for consideration and endorsement.
The year 2020 is significant for WHO in the context of nursing and midwifery strengthening for Universal Health Coverage. WHO is leading the development of the first-ever State of the World’s Nursing report which will be launched in 2020, prior to the 73rd World Health Assembly. The report will describe the nursing workforce in WHO Member States, providing an assessment of “fitness for purpose” relative to GPW13 targets. WHO is also a partner on The State of the World’s Midwifery 2020 report, which will also be launched around the same time. The NursingNow! Campaign, a three-year effort (2018-2020) to improve health globally by raising the status of nursing will culminate in 2020 by supporting country-level dissemination and policy dialogue around the State of the World’s Nursing report.
Nurses and midwives are essential to the achievement for universal heath coverage. The campaign and the two technical reports are particularly important given that nurses and midwives constitute more than 50% of the health workforce in many countries, and also more than 50% of the shortfall in the global health workforce to 2030. Strengthening nursing will have the additional benefits of promoting gender equity (SDG5), contributing to economic development (SDG8) and supporting other Sustainable Development Goals.
We are very pleased to share the news that yesterday the Director-General of the World Health Organization announced that 2020 will the Year of the Nurse, celebrating nursing and midwifery! The announcement came during the 144th WHO Executive Board meeting. The planned related activities in 2020 include World Health Day (April 7, 2020) and the 73rd World Health Assembly (mid-May) likely to feature nursing and midwifery themes as well as the launch of the first-ever State of the World’s Nursing report and the State of the World’s Midwifery . Congratulations to the WHO Chief Nurse . Elizabeth Iro and WHO Midwife Ms. Fran Mcconville and all nurses and midwives. For further information and updates about the Year of the Nurse you can check the following links:www.who.int •http://www.emro.who.int/index.html Warm regards . Dr. Naeema Al GasseerWorld Health Organization Represebtative in Sudan &Head of Mission