September 16, 2019
 In 2024-Addressing Healthcare Worker Shortage

Topic: 2024-Addressing Healthcare Worker Shortage
Country: Philippines
Delegate Name: Ella Zhou

Healthcare workers are essential in all areas of the world, but now, shortages have been getting more and more frequent, which leads to more patients filling up hospitals and an overall decrease in the population’s health. Many workers leave the healthcare workforce due to burnout and a general lack of motivation, which is a tricky situation to navigate. The Philippines has been affected by this shortage, and without a committed workforce, the Philippines is struggling to address this problem.
The Philippines has always been known for having an abundance of nurses, but an increasing amount has been feeling burnt out due to low wages, a decline in mental health, heavy workloads, delayed benefit reimbursement, and many other challenges. Many nurses also get deployed outside of the country, which helps support the Philippines economy, but becomes a problem when nearly 40% of nurses have left or retired. To help combat this, the Philippines has been recruiting newer and less experienced nurses, but it’s still not enough. Higher-income countries have a history of recruiting healthcare workers internationally, however, countries such as the Philippines are struggling to keep up since healthcare systems in these countries are becoming more and more fragile.
To help combat this issue, the Philippine Department of Health introduced The Doctors to Barrios program in 1992, which provides areas with little to no healthcare workers with dedicated doctors. To keep these doctors motivated and eager to keep this program running, they serve for three years and receive pay and benefits, along with a scholarship for a master’s degree in public health. The Philippines also has The Doktor Para sa Bayan Act, which provides medical scholarships at state schools for students who want to be physicians, with the agreement of serving in these disadvantaged areas for at least three years. Other programs such as the Medical Pool Placement and Utilization Program and the Registered Nurses for Health Enhancement and Local Service have similar clauses, although for shorter deployments. The Universal Health Care Act also commits permanent employment and competitive salaries for healthcare workers and offers scholarship programs.
To additionally address the healthcare worker shortage, the Philippines proposes an approach that increases investment towards healthcare infrastructure, better work conditions, and enhancing compensation for healthcare workers. This approach wouldn’t be able to work without global cooperation, so the Philippine government would like to stress the need for all nations to help with this issue. Through this type of cooperation, the Philippines envisions a future in which there is a creation of a sustainable healthcare workforce. This can ensure that all citizens can be taken care of, and the improvement of a global health system.

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