MARCH 7, 2013

NR # 3036B

Solon wants to stop the collection of fees from nurses while on two-year training
There’s a move to criminalize the collection of fees by many hospitals from Filipino nurses who are on two-year mandatory work experience training as a prerequisite in applying for a job abroad. Rep. Catalina Bagasina (Party-list, ALE), is pushing even in the 16th Congress House Bill 4293 which would criminalize the collection of affiliation fees from registered nurses by many hospitals in the country. “The move will not only open doors for equal employment but will stop the rampant practice of abuses through money-making schemes devised by some unscrupulous hospital administrators in the country,” Bagasina said. Bagasina said Filipino nurses are left with no choice but to pay the fees in exchange for on-the job experience despite the fact that the hiring hospitals are understaffed. Under the bill, understaffed hospitals are mandated to hire registered nurses as regular employees and are prohibited from collecting affiliation fees from nursing applicants while they are on a two-year mandatory work experience. Bagasina said many private and public hospitals remain understaffed and do not meet the required patient to nurse ration required by the government, “but these hospitals continue to collect affiliation fees from struggling nursing graduates.” “Instead of paying these new nurses their salaries, they pay the hospital for job experience. This is a moneymaking scheme for understaffed hospitals to hire nurses through affiliation agreement so as to avoid hiring regular nurses and cutting down their operational expenses. This is akin to syndicated estafa under the Special Penal Law,” Bagasina added. The measure imposes a jail term of 12 years imprisonment to administrator, hospital officers and supervisors who have the power, opportunity or authority to enter affiliation programs with registered nurses or schools, colleges and universities, whether deliberately or due to negligence. The 12-year imprisonment shall also be imposed on those who attempt to commit the act of collecting affiliation fees to include profiting from or assisting the offender to profit, concealing the act of affiliation, or destroying the effects or instruments in order to prevent its discovery, harboring, concealing, or assisting in the escape of the offenders. “The bill aims to level the playing field among nurses who cannot afford to pay the affiliation fees collected by some greedy hospitals in exchange for certification and job experience,” Bagasina said. (30) eg

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