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Bacolod City, PhilippinesTuesday, January 11, 2011
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Senate to probe into
nursing OJT schemes

The Senate Committee on Health and Demography, chaired by Sen. Pia Cayetano, will lead a joint meeting with the committees on finance, labor, employment and human resources development today on pressing issues concerning the country’s nurses and other medical professionals, a press release from Cayetano’s office said.

The joint panel will take up Cayetano’s Philippine Senate Resolution No.166, which seeks to look into reports of registered nurses and nursing graduates who are being employed by certain hospitals as “on-the job trainees” and made to pay for their training, work experience and certification, instead of being hired as regular hospital staff.

“In their desire to get hired abroad, some nurses are constrained to work in hospitals as OJTs even without pay or for salaries below the minimum wage,” she added.

Cayetano also noted that OJT nurses are reportedly made to pay to pay between P5,000 to P7,000 for their certification in the course of their ‘training period’ or ‘work experience’ with the hospital which may last from 6 weeks to 8 months.

“These reported money-making schemes contribute to the problem of local unemployment and underemployment among our nurses and, if found true, is very demeaning to the nursing profession. We also need to see how these questionable practices are dealt with under the existing regulations of the Department of Health, which is tasked to oversee the operations of hospitals in the country, he added.

Health, nursing, and hospital sector personalities have been invited to the hearing, the press release said.*

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