PNA file photo

MANILA – Provision of incentives and scholarships could help the shortage of healthcare workers in the country, the Philippine Federation of Professional Associations (PFPA) said Monday.

In a televised public briefing, PFPA Vice President Dr. Benito Atienza said many young people in the country want to become doctors and nurses but do not have enough money to pay for their college education.

Bigyan natin ng insentibo sa pamamagitan ng, lalo na ‘yung mga mahuhusay natin ay bigyan natin ng scholarship (Let us give incentives, especially our capable (students) must be given scholarship),” he said.

Kapag nakapag-aral naman sila ay magse-serbisyo naman sila ng ilang taon, dapat ganito yung ating process, hindi ‘yung kapag kulang na ‘yung nurses saka tayo gagawa ng solusyon (Upon graduating, they will serve the country for a number of years, this should be the process, not finding solutions when we already lack nurses),” he added.

Disclosing that he had a meeting with the Philippine Nurses Association earlier, Atienza said many nurses leave the country because overseas employment has become easier for them after completing only a year of work experience in the country.

The initial salary of nurses abroad amounts to PHP75,000, he added.

Atienza said the call for the amendment of Magna Carta of Public Health Workers has been ongoing for more than years.

The call aims to standardize the salary of nurses so that nurses in private hospitals could receive the same salary rate as those in public hospitals.

"Matagal na natin hinihingi yan sa Senate, sa Congress, matagal na po yan, dapat pong i-upgrade na yan, 'yung (We've been requesting that from the Senate, the Congress, it has been a long time, it must be upgraded, the) magna carta for healthcare workers,” he said.

Last week, the Department of Health (DOH) said a total of 106,000 nurses are needed in public and private hospitals nationwide.

There are currently 624 plantilla positions for nurses, 1,332 for midwives, and 63 for dentists which the DOH needs to fill up.

DOH officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said they have scheduled a meeting with the Department of Migrant Workers and Department of Labor and Employment regarding the issue. (PNA)