The Department of Health (DOH) announced that it is launching a new program that is set to address the problem of oversupply of nurses in the country. The program to be launched is similar to Nurses Assigned in Rural Service (NARS) that was implemented in 2009 for the same purpose.
The new program is called Registered Nurses for Health Enhancement and Local Services (RN HEALS) and it aims to train and deploy 10,000 registered nurses. The secretary of DOH, Enrique Ona said that the nurses will be assigned in poor communities in the rural areas.
The announcement from DOLE said that they are currently on the look out for registered nurses to fill up vacancies for the said positions. They are ready to start accepting applications this Monday (January 17, 2011).
The DOH secretary said in a statement, “The project seeks to make essential health services available to all Filipinos by training and deploying 10,000 unemployed nurses in communities to be identified by the DOH in collaboration with the Department of Social Welfare and Development."
Ona also said that aside from providing a job to unemployed nurses in the country, the project would also address the shortage of skilled nurses and poor health service in rural communities. The DOH has identified 1,221 rural communities that needs healthcare services and this is where the nurses who will qualify for the program will be assigned
He also informed that the nurses under the RN HEALS programs would receive an allowance of Php8, 000 and another Php2,000 (minimum) from the municipality government they are serving.
The Local Government Unit (LG) will be in charge of the nurses and is required to provide accommodation and ensure their safety and security as well. Ona said, “Eventually, these nurses will be part of the pool of competent nurses for later employment or absorption in health facilities, thus addressing the inadequate supply of skilled nurses and increasing the nurses’ employment rate."
The application period for RN HEALS will be from January 17 to February 4. It is open to all interested registered nurses which are both physically and mentally fit. The selection will be done in the regional offices of DOLE. Application can be sent online at the Labor Department website. Selected applicants wil be psowted at the said website from February 7 t0 10.
Selected applicants will be required to attend an orientation before they are deployed. The orientation will be on February 11- 12 and will be held in the provincial centers where the nurses are assigned. The orientation will be conducted by the regional DOH, DSWD, the Professional Regulation Commission’s Board of Nursing, and the Philippine Nurses Association.