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STATEMENT: Nursing test leak: only a symptom of an ailing health education system

STATEMENT: Nursing test leak: only a symptom of an ailing health education system

Written by Community-Based Health Services Association-Mindanao
Saturday, 16 September 2006 22 04 20

For several weeks now, we have witnessed the unfolding of events and issues surrounding the leakage controversy in the June nursing licensure examinations. The Professional Regulation Commission-Board of Nursing (PRC-BON) knee-jerk response has been to issue a resolution nullifying the scores in 110 of the 500 test questions in the 2006 nursing board exams. Echoing the same action of the PRC-BON, the Presidential Task Force recommended the invalidation of the results in the two subjects in the board exams tainted by the leaks, and called for a retake of the test in the disputed areas.
As a result, scores of board examinees and their families have suffered from the inevitable stigma brought about by the test scam. It was reported that quite a number of those who have passed the board exams are having a difficult time seeking jobs, as they are seemingly “blacklisted” from being hired in hospitals. In some hospitals, many of the examinees are rejected outright even for volunteer work.

It is becoming clear that the innocent victims of this leakage scam are now being subjected to unjust persecution for a crime committed by a few and for actions of the PRC that punish victims rather than the perpetrators.

After the scandal broke out, the government’s initial inaction was met with criticisms as it puts the future of thousands of qualified nurses in grave uncertainty and risk.

According to officials, the scandal could cause a serious “credibility problem” to the status of Filipino nurses abroad. Already, questions pointing to the integrity of previous board exams have been raised by foreign recruitment agencies.

In this context, the Community-Based Health Services Association – Mindanao (CBHSA-Mindanao), a Minda-wide alliance of community-based health programs and network of health professionals, health students, and health workers, expresses its utmost concern over the turtle-pace resolution of the controversy and is alarmed by the fact that the sluggish Senate investigation is taking its heavy toll on the legitimate passers.

http://mindanews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=878&Itemid=63

CBHSA-Mindanao likewise urges government authorities with jurisdiction over the issue to get to the bottom of this nursing board scam and hold accountable those PNA officials, owners of board review centers, and deans of nursing schools involved in the leakage.

Furthermore, CBHSA-Mindanao believes this event not only calls for a review of the system of professional eligibility exams, but more importantly, for a deeper look into the state of the nursing profession in particular and the health profession in general vis-à-vis the prevailing educational system.

The country’s system of education has become a profitable business bent on producing graduates designed for cheap export labor to serve the demands of foreign countries. Moreover, the rapid and unregulated boom in the number of nursing schools is a concrete manifestation of a business-oriented and commercialized nursing education that does not necessarily ensure quality education. It is no wonder that desperate moves such as the proliferation of leakages are made to boost the image of nursing schools and review centers through the purported ‘high passing rates’ of its students.

We believe that the unabated exodus of nurses and doctors to other countries, which is making the country suffer further from a “brain hemorrhage”, is linked to the worsening economic and political situation of the country. Unemployment, low salaries, and poverty have driven our professionals to work abroad and risk their lives just to provide a better future for their families.
In our General Assembly held last August 13, 2006 at the Brokenshire Resource Center, CBHSA-Mindanao approved a resolution to take relevant actions to address the worsening health crisis brought about by a deteriorating health care system. We also urge the government to prioritize budget allocation for health and other basic social services, which only received P13.7 billion or a measly 1% of the 2006 national budget.


For reference:

SR. CELINE CAJANDING, RGS
Chairperson, CBHSA-Mindanao
Pag-asa Drive, Matina Davao City
http://mindanews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=878&Itemid=63

ATTENTION ALL JUNE 2006 BOARD PASSERS...
PLEASE GIVE OUR SUPPORT TO THOSE FIGHTING FOR US (FOR THE LIFTING OF THE TRO) BY SHOWING UP TO BE COUNTED AT THE COURT OF APPEALS (OROSA ST. IN MANILA, BEHIND SUPREME COURT) TOMORROW, MONDAY (SEPTEMBER 18, 2006) BETWEEN 9-9:30AM.
WE NEED TO SHOW THE JUDGE HEARING OUR CASE THAT, INDEED, INJUSTICE WAS MADE ON US WHEN WE WERE DENIED OUR OATH-TAKING AND SUBSEQUENT LICENSING.
PLEASE BE THERE TOMORROW.
PLEASE PASS THIS MESSAGE TO ALL YOUR CONCERNED FRIENDS.
THANK YOU.

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