MANILA – Newly appointed Department of Health (DoH) Secretary Teodoro Herbosa announced Monday that the department plans to employ nursing graduates who did not pass their board exams.
In a bold new initiative, Secretary Herbosa said he intends to collaborate with the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) to issue temporary licenses to examinees who scored between 70 and 74 percent on their licensing exams, allowing them to work in public hospitals.
Speaking at his installation as the head of DoH, Secretary Herbosa also introduced eight key policy programs that will shape the department’s future direction.
These programs encompass a broad range of public health initiatives, from battling noncommunicable diseases to leveraging technology to improve health services. The policy outline also highlighted a need for emergency preparedness, disease prevention, mental health support, protection of health workers, and future pandemic-proofing of the health system.
“In line with our commitment to universal health coverage and my personal dedication to a humanistic approach, the less fortunate should not be driven to sell their homes or livestock just to access necessary health services,” said Herbosa.
He also pledged better recognition and increased remuneration for health workers, acknowledging their vital role in delivering health services. In addition, Herbosa stressed the necessity for the agency to prepare for potential disease outbreaks by establishing pandemic preparedness centers and facilities specifically designed for handling infectious diseases.
“We are all public servants here. Choosing to serve in the government is a conscious decision. Staying in service over time, that’s destiny,” he said. He called on everyone to work towards a healthcare system that fulfills public expectations for swift, proactive, and responsive growth.
As a reflection of the department’s renewed commitment to health and well-being, Herbosa introduced the DoH’s new motto: “Every human life is valuable.”
Health Undersecretary Maria Rosario Vergeire expressed her full support for Herbosa’s agenda, stating that it aligns with her own objectives during her tenure as the agency’s OIC.
This announcement marks a fresh direction for the Department of Health, as they prioritize human life, healthcare accessibility, and disease preparedness in their new strategic approach.