Friday, July 8, 2011

Philippine Nursing Law Revision

What was envisioned last year as amendment to the Nursing Law has now evolved into a "Nursing Law 9173 Revision". This course of action rose from the belief that the Nursing Law should provide direction for the nursing profession as it enters the future. Suggestions for revision have been introduced so that the various strategies and initiatives stated in the Nursing Roadmap for the years 2010 through 2030 will be facilitated and supported by a revised Nursing Law.

On March 4, 2011, the Philippine General Hospital served as the venue for the first public hearing on the revision of the Nursing Law. The event was attended by around 100 nurses from various nursing organizations where the collective output of prior workshops of five big nursing groups, in consultation with their constituents, were presented. There was consensus regarding the need for consistency between the new revisions and the existing laws, specifically the PRC Modernization Act. It was agreed that radical changes should be reconsidered with budget constraints in mind. In the days to come, the content of the ―revised Nursing Law‖ will need to be finalized so that it could be put before legislators for brainstorming of the suggested revisions. They, in turn, will run through the suggested revisions and provide their own input to protect the profession from any bureaucratic issues that may arise. A search for sympathetic legislators and authors will follow, ending in policy discussions and debates needed to provide evidences that will support the proposed revisions.

Congressman Carlos Padilla hasalready pledged his support. After the drafting of the bill in both chambers, there will be a call for advocacy among the various nursing institutions to push the matter forward in a focused and purposeful way.

Getting a bill approved is only the beginning. It has to go through the process in the Senate and once legislation is enacted, there will be a need to IMPLEMENT the revisions within the nursing community and other stakeholders.. The development of the implementing rules and regulations as well as some policy evaluation must be done in order to ensure its acceptability and eventual success.

The ultimate goal is the complete implementation of the revised nursing law, making nursing a vital force in national development by improving health care delivery and contributing to health outcomes in patient safety.

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