Nurses for the barrios, anyone?
by Rey Anthony Chiu
Tagbilaran City (13 February) -- FOR Boholano nurses, why work for free to get experience when you can get paid?
Rendering free hospital duties to get "experienced" may soon be a passť for untrained or unemployed nurses.
The government, in a bid to perk up employment and pat nurses for experience has planned to mobilize them in rural areas, with pay in a move similar to the Doctor to the Barrios.
After six months of duty, nurses could now wave the government certification and fly off in a front row chance to grab that dream job at a foreign hospital.
This as President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo launches Nurse Assigned in Rural Areas (NARS) soon.
The program gets nurses the "experience" for working as health care providers abroad, provides employment and sustains the demand for nurses abroad, the President was quoted.
As planned, the program would be implemented in the country's poorest villages and Bohol may have a share from the government's P.5 billion budget to hire nurses.
While there is strong demand for Filipino nurses abroad, the lack of training poses as the big problem, she cites in one of her speeches.
To solve this, "they shall be mobilized in their hometowns," the President said.
The nurses tasks, when hired would be to initiate primary health, school nutrition, maternal health programs, and do first-line diagnosis.
They shall also inform communities about water sanitation practices and do health surveillance.
The president also wants them to immunize children and mothers and serve as roving nurses for rural schools.
Pay howver may not be that high yet, but an allowance of P8,000 a month and a possible local counterpart of P2,000 may be quite better than having nothing at all.
he President has according asked the Mayor's League of the Philippines through its President Ramon Guico to ask host LGUS a counterpart of P2,000.
The government has initially determined the 1,000 poorest towns in the country and it would be hiring about 5 nurses in the first 6 months of the year and another 5 after that. (PIA) [top]