DOH LAUNCHES ‘RN HEALS’ PROJECT TO DEPLOY NURSES TO POOR COMMUNITIES

The Department of Health (DOH) today announced that applications can be filed starting next week, January 17, for its project where unemployed nurses will be deployed to poor communities in the country.

“The project, billed RN HEALS, 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 & Development (DSWD),” Health Secretary Enrique Ona said.

RN HEALS, an acronym for Registered Nurses for Health Enhancement And Local Service, is expected to address the shortage of skilled and experienced nurses in 1,221 rural and unserved or underserved communities for one year.

They will undergo learning and development in accordance with the roles and functions required by the project. A certificate of competency and employment will be given by the DOH, DSWD, and the Professional Regulation Commission to those who have satisfactorily completed their requirements.

While on deployment, the nurses will be given an allowance of P8,000 a month by the DOH while the local government unit (LGU) where they are assigned shall supervise them, ensure their safety and security, and provide modest board and lodging. Likewise, LGUs are encouraged to provide additional allowances and benefits worth at least P2,000 for these nurses.

PhilHealth and the Government Service Insurance System will provide group insurance to the nurses while private corporations are encouraged to chip in through their available resources.

The recruitment and selection of these nurses shall be under the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) through its Regional Offices.

Registered nurses who are physically and mentally fit, and willing to serve in their municipalities may apply online at the DOLE website (http://www.dole.gov.ph/) from January 17 to February 4 this year. Preference will be given to residents of the municipalities covered by the Health Facilities Enhancement Program of DOH and Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or the Conditional Cash Transfer of the DSWD.

The list of successful applicants with their area of assignments shall be posted online at the DOLE website from February 7-10. An orientation shall be held on February 11-12 in their provincial centers of assignment by the regional DOH, DSWD, Professional Regulation Commission – Board of Nursing and the Philippine Nurses Association prior to deployment.

“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 health chief concluded.

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