Strengthening the health-care workforce
The topic of health care has become especially personal for most of us over the past few years. While we hope that the worst of it is behind us, we need to acknowledge that the recent COVID-19 crisis has exposed many weaknesses in our health-care systems, including the most pressing problems around uplifting the health-care workforce.
According to the Department of Health, the Philippines needs 127,000 more nurses to provide optimal care to health facilities around the country. Government says it will take at least 12 years for the shortage to be addressed.
In 2022, the International Nurses Council reported that a total of 13 million nurses will be needed to fill the global nursing gap in the future.
Nurses grapple with various issues — financial woes that continue even after nursing school, burnout, low nurse-to-patient ratio, time away from their families — all while they put their lives on the line to take care of us.
Understanding the complex concerns of our nurses is crucial to cracking the code to this critical workforce challenge.
We are privileged to be a part of companies and communities that put us in the unique position of making transformative changes to strengthen and expand our nursing population.
In hosting the 2023 International Nurse Leaders Forum in partnership with the Makati Business Club and IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines, we strive to be the connective tissue between all stakeholders present here today, so that we can start taking collective accountability for this global problem.
During the next two days, we will tackle career pathways for nurses, mental health, technology’s role in the practice of nursing, and the global health-care workforce shortage. I encourage each and every one of you to actively engage in the discussions and presentations. Please consider this forum as an opportunity to learn from each other’s best practices and also a chance to foster a spirit of unity and collaboration.
I am confident that our joint commitment and efforts will lead us to sustainable long-term solutions one day.
[Originally delivered as the opening speech yesterday at the 2023 International Nurse Leaders Forum; Optum Global Solutions Philippines is a proud member of the Makati Business Club.]
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Ivic Mueco is managing director of Optum Global Solutions Philippines, a leading health services company under UnitedHealth Group, a Fortune 500 United States company that has been operating in the country since 2011. Optum has a workforce of over 20,000 with offices in Makati, Taguig, Quezon City, Muntinlupa, and Cebu.
Business Matters is a project of the Makati Business Club ([email protected]).
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