MANILA – The Chairman of the House Committee on Health on Monday called on the Higher Education Commission (CHED) to lift the moratorium on opening new nursing programs in light of the shortage of nurses in the country amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.
In a speech of privilege to the plenary session, Quezon representative Angelina Tan said it was high time for CHED to assess the relevance of its Memorandum Order (CMO) No.32 issued in 2010, which required a moratorium on the opening of all students and graduates. nursing programs and four other courses starting in the 2011-2012 school year.
CHED cited the increase in the number of institutions offering these programs as one of the reasons for the moratorium, as well as the gradual decline in the performance of nursing graduates, indicating the deteriorating state of the program.
Tan said that even before the Covid-19 pandemic, a global shortage of nurses was already predicted.
This shortage, according to Tan, was also highlighted in a World Health Organization report calling for urgent investment in nursing, as the Covid-19 pandemic highlights the need for nurses.
âThe role of nurses in our healthcare system cannot be overstated, not only in delivering quality healthcare, but also in achieving our Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). They make a vital contribution to the achievement of national and global goals related to a range of health priorities, including universal health care, mental health and communicable and noncommunicable diseases, preparedness and response to emergency situations. emergency, patient safety and the provision of integrated people-centered services. care, âTan said.
She further pointed out that data on the pre-Covid-19 pandemic reveals that the world does not have a global nursing workforce commensurate with universal health coverage and the Sustainable Development Goals.
âGiven this context and its potential impact on our health system, I think the time has come for CHED to assess the relevance of CMO # 32. In fact, this representation urges the Education Commission higher to allow other higher education institutions to open new nursing programs to enable us to produce more nurses, âTan said.
Further citing the WHO State of the World Nursing 2020 report, Tan said without action there will be a deficit of 4.6 million nurses globally by 2030.
In the Philippines, the projected deficit of nurses is expected to be 249,843 by 2030, unless greater investments are made now to retain them in the Philippine health sector. (ANP)