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WHO stresses need for more nurses, doctors in rural areas

By CHARISSA M. LUCI July 10, 2010, 6:26pm Citing the global need for more nurses and doctors in remote and rural areas, the World Health Organization (WHO) has started disseminating strategies to its member-countries with a high record of migrating health workers, including Philippines to help them address the situation. WHO said that amid the presence of about 60 million health workers worldwide, there is still a huge need to provide health services in poor rural communities, particularly the prevention and treatment of diseases. Of the total number of health workers, about two-thirds provide health services, while the other one-third is management and support workers. “Globally, 62 percent of nurses and 76 percent of doctors work in towns, while half of the population lives in rural areas. This is a major challenge to the provision of health services. To improve this situation WHO is disseminating strategies to help countries encourage health workers to live and work in remote and rural areas,” the WHO said in a statement. It lamented that many health workers choose to migrate to highincome countries for greater income, job satisfaction, career opportunities and management quality and some countries, including the Philippines, seek to fill in the “increasing” demand for health workers in high-income countries. “Some countries, notably the Philippines, are seeking to capitalize on the demand for imported health workers by deliberately training graduates for international careers,” the 193-nation WHO said in a statement. Apart from the Philippines, Jamaica, Mauritius and Fiji are among the middle-income countries with good health education systems which have “a significant proportion of students, especially in nursing school, who begin their education with the intention of migrating, usually in search of a better income.” The WHO also issued a stern warning that the migration of health workers “may result in financial loss and weakens health systems in the countries of origin,” which promoted the global health organization to develop a Global Code of Practice on the International Recruitment of Health Personnel to achieve an

each year. countries with smaller populations than India and the Philippines may suffer from a larger impact in terms of expatriation rates.equitable balance of the interests of health Mercado. It said Filipino nurses numbering to 110. migration generates billions of dollars in remittances to low-income countries and has been associated with a decline in poverty.000 and 56.000 doctors from India accounts for the largest share of migrant health workforce in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries. source countries and destination countries.mb. Health workers also may return and bring significant skills and expertise back to their home” it further added. . “On the positive side. Over 50 percent of highly-trained health workers leave for better job opportunities abroad in some low-income countries.” it said. Jay Arr M. “However. http://www.

Although they face lot of obstacles in the area they were assigned. lucrative salary packages are offered to them than working in a rural area.BSN IV – 15 “It's important to give without expecting anything in return. We cannot blame nurses who chose who work in large-scales hospitals or to work abroad because definitely. From the article. . it is emphasized that though there are numerous number of Filipino health care professionals. Public health nurses spend a significant portion of their time on ensuring healthy living conditions in the where they work and on improving the health status of the entire community. not just that of individuals. rather than keeping a tally of whom we've helped and who has helped us. Silence and service go hand in hand. that is the big challenge for us. Being a health servant to others. but then. Random acts of kindness. And I believe. they are very willing to serve the underserved and the marginalized group of Filipiino citizens. this is an inspirational quote which is embodied in every public health nurse nowadays. particularly those anonymously accomplished.” — Chelle Thompson Truly. the future nurses. It is a sad fact that the huge need to provide health services in poor rural communities is obviously denied. needs a lot of sacrifice. most of them already worked abroad than serving the rural and remote areas here in our country. I greatly salute those unemployed registered nurses who chose to be a part of the NARS or the Nurses Assigned in Rural Service. especially in remote areas. reflect a healthy non-attachment to deed or outcome.