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Around 300 clinical care associates hired in hospitals —PSAC

The Private Sector Advisory Council (PSAC) said Friday that around 300 Clinical Care Associates (CCA) have already been hired in hospitals in relation to the bid of the Marcos administration to address nurse shortage in the country. 

This was disclosed by PSAC Health Sector Lead Paolo Borromeo during his meeting with President Ferdinand ''Bongbong'' Marcos Jr. on Thursday wherein he updated the Chief Executive about the Clinical Care Associates Program for underboard nursing graduates, Enhanced Master’s Nursing Program, and the bilateral labor agreements with other countries on the training and deployment of Filipino nurses.

Borromeo noted that the Commission on Higher Education has allocated P20 million for board reviews of 1,000 CCAs for this year.

He said that as of February 20, 304 CCAs have been enrolled from both private and public hospitals, adding that recruitment will continue for the November 2024 nursing board examination. 

Borromeo also said that PSAC would also roll out the program for the 2025 board examinations.

“That’s an instant addition to our nursing population. If we are able to fill the seats that Chair Popoy (CHED Chairman Prospero de Vera III) was able to get, that’s a thousand CCAs but now 300 pa lang. A thousand CCAs is not a small number in a country where we graduate about 7,000 to 10,000 nurses a year,” Borromeo said in a press release.

In July of last year, de Vera and Health Secretary Ted Herbosa signed a joint administrative order to pave the way for the entry of CCAs into the healthcare system and a nursing review program that will be delivered by identified higher education institutions.

Borromeo also mentioned the Enhanced Master’s Nursing Program, which aims to produce more nursing instructors in the country. Under the program, the three-year Master’s Nursing Program was shortened by CHED to one year.

The PSAC is considering to roll out the master’s program starting academic year 2024-2025 in 16 higher education institutions (HEIs).

Meanwhile, bilateral labor agreements with other countries are also a big win for the country's nursing sector as Borromeo mentioned the pilot memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Austria. 

Under the MOU, the Austrian government will provide scholarships, faculty support, as well as adopt-a-school/hospital scheme. —Anna Felicia Bajo/ VAL, GMA Integrated News