PUERTO PRINCESA CITY—The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in Palawan deployed a total of 190 nurses to rural communities under the RN HEALS Program or Registered Nurses for Health Enhancement and Local Services.
RN HEALS aims to address the shortage of skilled and experienced nurses in 1,221 rural and unserved or underserved communities nationwide for one year, while also addressing the oversupply of nurses in urban areas.
The program is a collaborative effort with the Department of Health as the lead agency, the DOLE, Department of Social Welfare and Development, Philippine Regulatory Commission and the Philippine Nursing Association.
In Palawan, all municipalities with the exception of Kalayaan are enjoying the services of these nurses which have been deployed since March. The most remote island municipalities of Cagayancillo, Agutaya, Linapacan and Dumaran were deployed with 6 nurses each.
“Ang laki ng tulong ng mga nurses sa bayan na ito kasi ito talaga ang kulang na kulang ang presensya ng mga medical staff,” said Evangeline Cuarte, officer-in-charge of DOLE-Palawan.
The nurses will get an allowance of P8,000 a month, group insurance from Philhealth and GSIS, modest board and lodging from the host local government units. The LGUs are also encouraged to provide a counterpart additional allowance of at least P2,000 per month.
“Sa ngayon, appreciative naman ang mga LGUs sa programa na ito at malaki ang pakinabang ng mga nurses, gusto sana ng ilan na maging regular program na ito,” said Cuarte.
Before being deployed, the nurses underwent two-day learning and development training in accordance with the roles and functions required by the program. The nurses will serve for a year – six months in district hospitals and six months in a rural health unit.
The following are the number of nurses deployed in the 22 towns of Palawan: Island municipalities – 6 in Agutaya, 6 in Araceli, 3 in Balabac, 5 in Busuanga, 6 in Cagayancillo, 8 in Coron, 7 in Culion, 8 in Cuyo, 6 in Dumaran, 6 in Linapacan, and 6 in Magsaysay. For the mainland municipalities – 14 in Narra, 12 in Quezon, 12 in Brooke’s Point, 9 in Roxas, 11 in Rizal, 8 in San Vicente, 9 in Taytay, 9 in Sofronio Española, 9 in El Nido, 9 in Bataraza, 12 in Aborlan, and 8 in Puerto Princesa City.