“Let us find ways to save their jobs.”
This was the statement of Congressman Rolando Andaya after finding out that close to 7,000 nurses deployed to rural areas and poor communities nationwide may not be renewed next year due to budget cuts in the health department.
The House Majority Leader and representative of 1st District of Camarines Sur revealed that under the proposed 2019 national budget presented by Department of Budget and Management (DBM), the Department of Health (DOH) will get only P1.2 billion, a big slash from its P9.6 billion purse this year.
This will result to mass lay-off of around 6,755 government nurses under the DOH Nurse Deployment Project (NDP).
“This is one area up for discussion because of its impact on the delivery of health services to the people who need them most. Will the cuts put in ICU the health system in remote areas?” Andaya said.
Currently, there are 15,893 NDP nurses are deployed in rural areas, poor towns and urban centers with high poverty incidence throughout the country.
Aside from nurses, the number of doctors deployed will also be reduced, from 293 to 243; dentists, from 324 to 241; and midwives, from 4,000 to 3,650.
NDP is part of Human Resource for Health Deployment Programs (HRHDP) of DOH where health professionals such as nurses, doctors, midwives, medical technologists, dentists, pharmacists and other allied health workers are hired and deployed to rural health units, birthing centers, and barangay health stations.
This year, NDP nurses are receiving monthly salary of P31,765, based on third tranche of salary standardization of law. Following the fourth tranche to be implemented next year, they will receive P33,584 monthly.