After Malacañang announced that Outgoing President Benigno Aquino III vetoed the bill that would increase the salary of the Filipino nurses, the local nursing community in response showed dismay with regard to the executive decision.
After all the hopes and expectations to pass the bill before the current administration will hand over to the new President-elect Rodrigo Duterte, it fell short, damaging the morale of Filipino nurses local and abroad.
A notable Nurse and Filmmaker Emir Kahn Bautista is currently recruiting fellow nurse colleagues through social media site “Facebook” to join his cause as to start a film that will involve the struggles through the eyes of his fellow Filipino Nurses. His Facebook post reads:
The cause is to share and to tell the stories of the Filipino Nurses and to let their voices be heard by the society and hopefully the government. This is to make an impact and to make a statement that they’re valuable and not to be abused.
To give the readers an overview of the current plight of the local nursing community, there are two major issues to be considered:
- Under-utilization of nurses in both private and public hospitals. – The nurse to patient ratio is not balance in which the ideal DOH (Department of Health) ratio is 1 nurse to 10-15 patients, but in the current state of affairs, it’s 1 nurse to 40 or more patients. This in turn, causes the nurse to be overworked as well as being underpaid due to restrictions imposed by the hospitals in salary.
- False volunteerism is still ongoing – This issue leaves nurses with no alternatives because they need to complete the required 2 years experience to meet the global requirements for overseas applications.
As the latest executive order stifled the needs of the nurses, it would be a fair expectation that more and more nurses are opting to overseas work which grants better benefits albeit being far and away from their homes and families.
A sacrifice, many are willing to take for a better quality of life. As one filipino song goes “Napakaraming nars dito sa atin, ngunit parang tila walang natira?” (There are so many nurses in our land, how come there’s nothing left?)
Today, the demand for Filipino nurses abroad is still increasing as a lot of foreign hospitals consider them to be “the best in the world”. Yet, our government only saw the advantage on financial aspect of this from international remittances, overlooking or outright ignoring the implications of the rampant problems on our local scale of healthcare services to the nurses working in the country.
Hopefully in the future, everything will be fixed and put to order. Imagine a world without nurses.
If you want to join the project and to have more information about it, you can message and follow Mr. Emir Kahn Bautista on his Facebook.
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