The Department of Health (DOH) is planning to hire a total of 9,349 nurses next year under the Nurse Deployment Project (NDP).
NDP is part of health department’s thrusts under the Human Resources for Health (HRH) Deployment Program, which deploys healthcare personnel to grassroots communities around the country.
The program also includes Universal Health Implementers, Dentist Deployment Project (DDP), Rural Health Midwives Placement Program (RHMPP), Medical Technologists Deployment Project (MTDP), and Public Health Associates Deployment Project (PHADP).
Senate Minority Leader Ralph Recto revealed the number of nurses to be hired for next year’s deployment is a third lower than what the health department hired this year.
DOH hired and employed 15,727 nurses this year, which means 6,368 nurses contracted under the NDP will be axed.
Recto added that not only nurses are to be reduced, but also doctors and dentist. The number of physicians assigned to low-income towns will go down from 946 this year to 435 next year, and dentists who will be assigned to rural clinics will also be reduced from the 2016 level of 324 to 243 next year.
“In military terms, we’re pulling out a battalion of doctors and a division of nurses from the war against diseases and from the campaign for wellness,” Recto said.
Recto said he will ask Health officials to explain the personnel cuts when they appear before the Senate this month to justify their proposed P141.6 billion budget for 2017.