Senator Antonio “Sonny” F. Trillanes IV underscored the need for public hospitals to employ more nurses and other skilled health professionals in order to address a requirement under the proposed reproductive health (RH) bill on maternal health care and skilled birth attendance.
Trillanes made the statement in light of the admission by Patricia Gomez, president of the Integrated Midwives Association, during a Senate committee hearing that the average number of midwifery graduates every year would not be able to meet the required number of health workers under Section 5 of Senate Bill No. 2865.
This section provides that “the Local government units, with the assistance of the DOH [Department of Health], shall employ an adequate number of midwives and other skilled health professionals for maternal health care and skilled birth attendance to achieve a minimum ratio of one (1) fulltime equivalent skilled health professional for every one hundred fifty (150) deliveries per year.”
During the period of individual amendments for SBN 2865, Trillanes proposed to amend the said provision by allowing nurses to be deployed to public hospitals in order to satisfy the required number of health professionals.
“We can tap our nurses since we have large pool of nurses. More than this, they can cover not only reproductive health, but general health care in particular,” Trillanes said.
“Government hospitals are reported to have been experiencing shortage of nurses but the plantilla positions for nurses in public hospitals are never filled up,” Trillanes further explained during the period of individual amendments to SBN 2865.
Trillanes believed that his proposed amendment would address the high unemployment rate among nurses in the country. Source: Senate Press Release.