The Department of Health (DOH) today said that 22,500 nurses of the fourth batch of its Registered Nurses for Health Enhancement and Local Service Project, also known as RN Heals 4, will be deployed after their orientation starting this month in various areas of the country.
“This Project aims to improve access of the country’s poor to quality healthcare with social services by creating a pool of registered nurses with enhanced clinical and preventive health management competencies that will eventually increase the nurses’ employability,” Health Secretary Enrique Ona stated.
Ona, however, clarified that RN Heals does not intend to provide employment but rather learning and development, adding that the nurses under RN Heals are, therefore, not regular employees but pre-service trainees who are given allowances/stipend and not salaries. They are deployed in government health facilities where potential for future employment is highest.
The fourth batch started this January for their orientation and will be deployed in 70 DOH hospitals, 1,491 municipalities, 143 cities, and 13 districts of Metro Manila following the priority areas of the DOH’s Health Facilities Enhancement Program (HFEP), conditional cash transfer areas (CCT) areas of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the 609 priority areas of the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC).
The nurses, whether assigned in a hospital or health center, receive a monthly allowance/stipend of Php 8,000.00 from the national government. The hospitals or rural health units where they are assigned are encouraged to provide additional monetary or non-monetary incentives to nurses, such as: advanced training opportunities, meals or meal allowance, transportation or transportation allowance, communication allowance, modest board and lodging whenever necessary.
Also, they are enrolled in the Philhealth iGroup Insurance with a premium of P1,200.00 per person per year and GSIS Group Accident Insurance premium of P 500.00 per person per year covering the following: Accidental Death/Dismemberment of P500,000.00 per person; Medical Reimbursement of P50,000.00 per person; and Bereavement Assistance of P10,000.00. After the satisfactory completion of their learning and deployment, the nurses are given a Certificate of Completion.
As in the previous batches, fund sources have been sub-allotted to the DOH Centers for Health Development and Hospitals to facilitate processing and payment of their monthly allowance. For ARMM, funds have been transferred to the DOH-ARMM for efficiency.
The RNheals Project has completed three (3) batches from 14 February 2011 to December 2012. Batch 1 in February 2011 was composed of 9,518 nurses who were deployed in health facilities in 1,235 municipalities and cities while 11, 283 nurses of Batch 2 (October 2011) were sent to 70 DOH hospitals 1,500 municipalities and cities; and Batch 3 nurses (10,000) were deployed to 1,491 municipalities and 143 cities in March 2012.