Pay hike for govt nurses draws mixed reactions

NURSES working in public and private hospitals in Cebu have mixed reactions on the inclusion of a special provision in the approved P4.1 trillion national budget for 2020 which includes pay increases for government nurses.

Although some are happy about the approved pay hike for government nurses, some nurses here in Cebu still prefer to work abroad as the pay is still way better there.

Gian Bontilao, who works as a nurse at the Cebu City Medical Center-College of Nursing, praised the Senate for approving the pay increase and hopes it could help attract more nurses to work in government hospitals as a way to prevent understaffing.

But Bontilao admitted that despite the increase in pay, some nurses like him want to work abroad as working conditions in hospitals there are better.

Lyn (not her real name), who works as a nurse in one of Cebu City’s private hospitals, agrees with Bontilao.

Lyn told SunStar Cebu that though the increase in pay for government nurses might be attractive, she will still opt to work abroad because of better conditions there.

“I will still go abroad since most of the hospitals here are really understaffed. The salary cannot compensate for the weariness of nurses here, and we can earn more abroad than here,” Lyn told SunStar Cebu, in Cebuano.

But for nurses like Sarah Yen, the salary increase for them has long been overdue.

Working as a nurse at the Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center, Yen believes the salary increase is necessary as majority of nurses like her felt exploited.

She added that aside from increasing the pay, the national government should hire more nurses to help minimize the patient load in government hospitals and develop scholarship programs for future nurses. (JCT)