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The exodus of Filipino health-care workers

The exodus of Filipino health-care workers

The migration of Filipino health-care professionals for overseas work has led to the continuing decline in quality of the Philippine health-care service. Merely churning out more graduates may not be the best solution.

The Department of Health and related government agencies have tried to address this growing concern by producing an equal number of health-care professionals (for example, allowing more nursing schools to operate, incentive programs for doctors, etc.). A mere offsetting of numbers, however, does not result to in good workforce quality. Such quality can only be achieved through proper exposure and hands-on training.

The steady exodus of experienced medical professionals prompted Tthe advisory practice of accounting firm Isla Lipana & Co. Pricewater­houseCoopers (formerly Joa­quin Cunanan & Co.) and medical experts Asuan, Caragay and Cruz & Associates Healthcare Systems, Inc., to study Filipino health workers’ compensation and benefits. The 2005 Philippine Health Industry Remuneration and Benefits Survey is the product of this study.

Isla Lipana & Co. says that “the survey, which covered primary, secondary and tertiary private and government hospitals inside and outside Metro Manila, aims to provide health-care providers with a comprehensive industry compensation guide in:

• Assessing alignment of actual compensation versus existing marketplace practices for a particular job function;

• Evaluating the capability to remain competitive and minimize the risk of losing skilled employees to other organizations; and

• Comparing job contents within the industry.”

Survey findings

The survey findings support the view that compensation is a key factor in the migration of health-care workers.

• Consultants, physicians and paramedics in government hospitals earn more than their counterparts in private hospitals.

• However, as opposed to previous years, the private sector now competes with the government hospitals in acquiring and keeping the best of paramedical practitioners.

• Although the number of nursing schools has increased, the problem lies in the quality of nurses. Good and experienced ones immediately seek jobs outside the country as soon as minimum basic requirements are completed.

• The Department of Health has just initiated a scholarship program for aspiring doctors due to the decreasing number of youths wanting to pursue medical practice.

Survey method

The survey involves 100 benchmark positions and full analysis of the information gathered. Compensation data include hospital classification, salary ranges (minimum and maximum), method of payment (salaried or nonsalaried), workhours (full-time or part-time), number of incumbents and average years of service are presented. Benefits tabulation includes type of benefit and coverage. The survey also touches on general human-resource practices.


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