(File photo) 

MANILA – The Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines, Inc. (PHAPI) on Monday asked the government to regulate the overseas employment of healthcare workers (HCWs), especially nurses.

PHAPI president Dr. Rene de Grano said in a televised public briefing that the major cause of declining numbers of HCWs is nurses leaving the country.

“Siguro naman po ay dapat kontrolin ng gobyerno iyan. Hindi naman po naman namin sinasabi na i-stop o pigilan iyan (The government may need to control that. We’re not saying to stop or control it),” he said.

The number of nurses and doctors in the country is important as it dictates the capacity of hospitals to accommodate more patients even though many hospital beds are available.

“Halimbawa po sa isang 100-bed hospital, kailangan natin ng isang daang nurses, eh kung available lang po ay limampu, so ‘yun po ang magiging batayan ng pag-a-admit natin ng ating pasyente, ‘yun po ang limitasyon natin right now sa pag-a-admit ng ating pasiyente (For example, in a 100-bed hospital, 100 nurses are needed, if we only have 50 nurses, it will be the basis for the admission of patients, that is our limitation right now)," de Grano said.

A December 2021 data from the Department of Health show that there are a total of 172,589 nurses employed in both public and private hospitals.

Last June, the Professional Regulation Commission said that 6,616 or 68 percent of the 9,729 examinees passed the nursing board exams in May 2022.

Under the Nurse Deployment Program, the services rendered by nurses fall under a contractualization scheme.

“Humihingi rin kami na mga pribadong hospitals ng halimbawa ng parang pong subsidiya galing sa gobiyerno nang sa gayon po ay matulungan din ang mga pribadong ospital na ‘yun po ang maitaas-taas ang sweldo ng atin pong mga nurses (We, the private hospitals, are also requesting subsidy from the government, so we can help the private hospitals to increase the salary of nurses),” de Grano said. (PNA)