EntrepreNURSE launched in Davao
Home-care service introduced
By Mai Gevera
Davao City (22 January) -- Unemployed Filipino nurses are given another window to earn locally with the Project EntrepreNURSE, an initiative of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).
Simultaneous with Project NARS, the EntrepreNURSE introduces the concept of a home health-care industry which has long been practiced in other countries like the United States. In the Philippines, the idea of nurses doing home-care services was rarely practiced.
After seeing the need to absorb the growing number of nurses annually and at the same time complement local government initiatives for the health care sector, DOLE then proposed this nurse entrepreneurship project.
DOLE secretary Marianito Roque bared that about 7,000 nursing graduates pass the board. However, local employment can only accommodate up to 3,500 nurses while the foreign sector absorbs up to 20,000.
"There is a continuing demand of nurses abroad but Philippines has been producing so much that both local and foreign employment can afford," Roque explained.
This pushed DOLE to assist unemployed nurses by way of allowing them to form cooperatives and manage nurses' clinics under the supervision of trained and experienced nurses.
Region XI was chosen to pilot this project getting support from local government units, the Department of Health, Board of Nursing-Professional Regulation Commission, University of the Philippines College of Nursing, Philippine Nurses Association and others.
This P1.2 million project grants P300,000 per cooperative per province in the region. There shall be at least 500 members per cooperative for a city and at least 1,000 members for province.
The grant may be used to get the home health care business started. For the first semester of 2010, only 5 cooperatives in the pilot region will be assisted with the grant.
Local government units may also take advantage of this project by tapping members of the cooperative to be deployed in far-flung barangays where they can perform both as health educator and health care provider and will be compensated for their services by the local government or by the sponsoring organization.
Roque admitted that the project is yet on its early phase and still needs establishment of mechanisms by supporting agencies.
However, the nursing sector represented by the Philippine Nursing Association takes the project as the answer to the problems in the industry.
This has opened a new window to the unemployed in the nursing sector. (PIA XI) [top]