The Department of Health (DOH) will only hire 11,795 nurses for Human Resource for Health (HRH) Program under National Health Workorce Support System (NHWSS) in 2023. This is lesser than the over 16,000 nurses deployed for this year.
DOH Officer-in-charge Ma. Rosario Vergeire said that the NHWSS program will be hiring a total of 21,547 health workers, a drop from 26,035 health professionals hired this year. The breakdown of HRH cadres under NHWSS in 2023 are as follows: 1,407 doctors; 11,795 nurses; 6,938 midwives; 222 dentists; 303 pharmacists, 601 medical technologists; 200 nutritionists; and, 81 physical therapists.
Vergeire explained that the drop in number of cadres is due to the implementation of Devolution Transition Plan (DTP) of the health department, wherein local government units will be hiring some of these workers.
She also pointed to the lower budget for NHWSS program which will affect healthcare workers’ benefits next year.
“We have a list of programs that received lacking funds in the 2023 budget. But primarily, what we are appealing to our committee on health and the members of the House of Representatives would be our insufficient budget that was provided for the healthcare workers’ benefits,” she said during the budget hearing in the Lower House.
From P17.02 billion budget in 2022, the NHWSS program will only get P16.92 billion next year and that will include funding for pre-service scholarship grants of 2,539 aspiring medical and allied health professionals.
The National Health Workforce Support System (formerly Human Resources for Health Deployment Program) is the thrust of the government to deploy, redistribute, and retain health workers in the country to enhance access to quality health services and improve health outcomes.