The Department of Health is looking into tapping “board eligibles” to solve the shortage of nurses in public hospitals.
Board eligibles are those who graduated from four-year course but have not passed the board, DOH Sec. Teodoro Herbosa said in a briefing.
Healthcare workers classified under such category will be given three to five years to pass the board exam, he said.
“These healthcare workers go to the BPO industry, to tourism (industry), when we need nurses,” he said.
Citing the latest DOH data on job vacancies, Herbosa said the agency needs 4,800 for its hospitals nationwide.
The DOH will also discuss with the Department of Budget and Management and legislators other ways to provide more benefits for healthcare workers and increase the salary of nurses working in private hospitals.
“There are many job vacancies for our nurses and I will try my best to fast track the hiring and filling up of these nurse positions to improve the services of medical centers and public health centers,” he said.
Earlier, the Professional Regulatory Commission reported there are 951,105 registered nurses in the country but only 509,297 or 53.55 percent are practitioners as of March 24.
The PRC said the country does not meet the ratio of practicing nurses set by the World Health Organization which is 27.4 nurses for every 10,000 individuals. – PNA