JUNE 20, 2019 — The Philippine Nurses Association (PNA) warned the government about the ongoing nursing crisis in the country brought about by low salaries and lack of benefits.
Dr. Erlinda Palaganas, PNA president, said nurses in the country are not being valued by society.
“Why do other countries value us and why don’t we value our own nurses?” Palaganas said in a press conference Thursday.
PNA said many hospitals remain understaffed, prompting some to shut down.
Nursing graduates also opt to work overseas, while some pursue other degrees due to low wages.
Palaganas said there are cases where nurses have 36-hour duties, but were not given due remuneration. She added that pay can be delayed from four to five months.
“How can you allow a nurse to go and work that much? It’s beyond the capacity of the body,” she said. “Hindi na kami pwedeng manahimik. [PNA] can no longer be silent about this.”
PNA has appealed to the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to limit the number of nurses they send abroad.
The government’s proposed Universal Health Care program is futile with the lack of nurses, Palaganas noted.
The program aims to provide health coverage to every Filipino citizen, lowering hospital expenses in the process.
“You cannot achieve universal health care without the nurses who are at the forefront of health care,” Palaganas said.