Marcos backs proposed 'ladderized' program for nurses

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·2 min read
Nursing students attend physical classes inside a university in Manila, the Philippines on February 23, 2022. Schools gradually started reopening physical classes last week as COVID19 cases in the country continue to decline, with authorities mulling over the idea of further easing down restrictions. Meanwhile, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. likes the idea of ladderized program for nursing students. (Photo by George Calvelo/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Nursing students attend physical classes inside a university in Manila, the Philippines on February 23, 2022. Schools gradually started reopening physical classes last week as COVID19 cases in the country continue to decline, with authorities mulling over the idea of further easing down restrictions. Meanwhile, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. likes the idea of ladderized program for nursing students. (Photo by George Calvelo/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has expressed his support for a proposed "ladderized" program for nurses, in order to address “brain drain” among nurses and to strengthen the country’s health sector, Malacañang revealed on Thursday (August 11).

Palace statement said that the president supported this idea in his meeting with members of the Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC) on Thursday afternoon.

“I liked the ladderized idea for the nurses because that’s really becoming a problem – the brain drain that we are suffering,” the statement quoting Marcos as saying in the meeting.

“They [nurses] are so good everybody wants them, and they are willing to pay for it, and we are not, or we’re not able. So we have to come up with some strategies for that,” Marcos added.

The idea was floated by Department of Health officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire, as observed in the University of the Philippines Manila and some local government units (LGUs).

Under UP Manila’s program, they offer a two-year scholarship for midwives who, upon completion of the course, go back to the community to serve, and once they have experience, they go back to school to get a nursing degree for another two years.

“So this ladderized program, there is this counterpart with local government. So we now have a couple of local governments that we have piloted this with,” Vergeire was quoted as saying.

Marcos claims that one of the programs that could help prevent our medical practitioners from leaving our country is to provide scholarships to them, so he is also tapping the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) to help with the matter.

PSAC healthcare lead Paolo Maximo Borromeo said that TESDA is currently offering a six-month nursing aide course where finishing students could already be deployed to hospitals in mere months.

"What the hospitals do is they train them further, another 30 days to do IG, to do phlebotomy, or … NGT and it improves the ratio of beds that nurses [are] able to do in hospitals. Quick win like that is easy to do if you can encourage more nursing aides," said Borromeo.

They also advocated to review the salaries and benefits nurses receive for their work.

Marvin Joseph Ang is a news and creative writer who follows developments on politics, democracy, and popular culture. He advocates for a free press and national democracy. Follow him on Twitter at @marvs30ang for latest news and updates.

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