Govt allocates P294-M for nurse deployment to LGUs
In a statement, Budget Secretary Florencio Abad said the funds will go to the Registered Nurses for Health Enhancement and Local Service (RN Heals) project of the Department of Health (DOH), as part of the P72 billion in disbursements that the Aquino administration approved to push economic growth this year.
“The P294-million fund release is for the deployment of not only qualified nurses but also midwives to create a pool of registered health professionals with enhanced clinical and public health competencies towards the improvement of health care services delivery in the country," Abad said.
The secretary also noted that the project is aligned with the government’s commitment towards the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, particularly in improving maternal health and reducing child mortality rates.
The DOH in February deployed the first batch of RN Heals nurses to 1,021 areas covered by the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s conditional cash transfer (CCT) program, according to the DBM.
The stipends for RN Heals nurses, however, later became the center of controversy after a number of such nurses complained about the delay in these funds’ disbursement.
“May we know what’s causing the delayed giving of stipend for RN Heals nurses?" said a nurse using the Facebook username “Athena Joy" on May 2.
“We started last February 11, 2011 but until now we only received half of the supposed-to-be P8,0000 for the month of February 2011," she said.
The DOH only began to release the monthly stipend of some 10,000 RN Heals nurses in May, after a four-month delay.
From the P72 million that the DBM has recently alloted, 10,000 nurses and 1,000 rural health midwives will benefit from October to December this year, the DBM said.
Under the program, nurses will get P8,000 in monthly allowances while midwives will get P6,000 monthly, the DBM said. – PE/ELR, GMA News