Herbosa seeks to make Filipino nurses stay in PH

Newly-appointed Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Dr. Teodoro “Ted” Herbosa said he will search for a solution to make Filipino nurses stay in the Philippines.

(AFP / Manila Bulletin)

Many Filipino nurses have decided to leave the country to seek better life and employment opportunities overseas. Amid this continuous exodus, Herbosa said he wouldn’t blame and stop healthcare workers who are aiming to have well-paying jobs abroad.

The health chief, however, stated that he will find a way to make them stay.

“The right for [a] better life is embodied in our constitution. If a nurse wants to go abroad to get a salary that I cannot give, I shouldn’t stop that person because what I should look at is why I’m not able to pay the same amount so they can be here in their own country, with their own family and enjoy the beautiful islands of the Philippines. [Instead,] I will search for the solution of what will make them stay,” said Herbosa in an interview over ANC on Thursday, June 8.

Herbosa, explaining that he trained abroad as well, noted that life abroad is hard.

“You’re looked at as a worker [or]... excuse me — a medical slave,” he furthered.

Board-eligible nurses for gov’t

While the proposition is not yet final, Herbosa said one of his ideas is to allow board-eligible nurses to temporarily work in unfilled government positions.

“We have several nurses that don’t pass the board examinations and don't have a license. In the government, you cannot work without a license, but I’m willing to take them if they have a diploma,” said Herbosa.

Currently, there are 4,500 vacant nursing positions in the Philippine government. With this recommendation, Herbosa said nurses will be given ample time to be trained and eventually pass the boards.

“This is under the Professional Regulation Commission, this is a law and [they] cannot be hired by the government if they don’t have the license so I'll have to [study this and] find a way,” he concluded.