Angara seeks solution to end jobless nurses in the Phl
By Jason de Asis

SENATE OFFICE, Manila, December 15, 2010-Sen. Edgardo J. Angara have tasked the Congressional Commission on Science and Technology and Engineering (COMSTE) and the UP Law Center to find innovative solutions for the lack of job opportunities for nurses in the country as well as its deteriorating quality of nursing education.

Angara, who chairs COMSTE said that he will continue to hold dialogues with the leaders of nursing profession and furthered that he is pushing for the expansion of the National Telehealth Program which aims to deploy telehealth nurses in the remote barangays in the country. This proposal has a P50 million allocation in the 2011 GAA.

He added that the Telehealth nurses will be equipped in technology and mandated to ensure patient/s comfortable with the best care. The said nurses will be trained on how to use a mobile phone to keep patient records and to refer cases via telemedicine to the nearest provincial or regional hospital.

For difficult cases, the patient/s will be referred to UP Manila National Telehealth Center which has access to all the specialties in the Philippine General Hospital. The telemedicine program has been running for the past five years through the DOH doctors-to-the-barrios program. It can now be deployed to doctor-less municipalities around the country.

The Senator said that it is vital to bring medical access to Filipinos in far-flung areas who are not able to consult by a doctor wherein he added that the COMSTE representatives are tapping nurses for the expansion of the National Telehealth Program while the UP Law Center is preparing a draft of a bill entitled Community Health Delivery and Health Team Placement Act. (Jason de Asis)