President Aquino releases P294 million for more nurses and midwives

This is a press release from the Department of Budget and Management.

Committed to provide sufficient health care to all Filipinos, President Benigno S. Aquino III has instructed the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to allocate P294 million to employ qualified nurses and midwives that will be deployed to all municipalities, cities and health facilities throughout the country.

Budget and Management Secretary Florencio B. Abad said the fund release is for the Registered Nurses for Health Enhancement and Local Service (RNheals) Project of the Department of Health (DOH). The program is part of the P72-billion disbursements acceleration plan recently approved by the Aquino administration to push economic growth in 2011

“The P294-million fund release is for the deployment of not only qualified nurses but also midwives to create a pool of registered health professionals with enhanced clinical and public health competencies towards the improvement of health care services delivery in the country. This project likewise aims to address the shortage of nurses in the country,” Abad said.

He added the project is also aligned with the government’s commitment to achieve the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (UN MDGs), particularly in improving maternal health and reducing child mortality rates.

DOH deployed the first batch of RNheals nurses in 1,021 conditional cash transfer (CCT) areas identified by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in February 2011. It comprised of about 75 percent of CCT areas nationwide.

“There was a positive response from the project stakeholders so we decided to expand the project to cover all municipalities, cities and health facilities in the country. This idea is to set our goals towards achieving the Universal Health Care commitment of the government,” Abad said.

The funding will allot the employment of 10,000 nurses and 1,000 rural health midwives. The program starts this October to December 2011.

The program will give nurses P8,000 monthly allowances while midwives will be given P6,000 monthly. Both will be provided with the Philhealth Insurance worth P1,200 yearly, group accident insurance enrolment of P500 per year, and a certificate of completion after satisfactory completion of the project.

DOH hospitals will provide meals for the nurses during their tour of duty, equivalent to at least P2,000 per month. Nurses and midwives assigned in the Rural Health Units (RHUs) shall follow the provisions of Joint Memorandum Circular No. 2011-0044 entered last August 2011 specifically the additional allowance of at least P2,000 per month from local government units (LGUs).

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