DOH allows nurses to own birth clinics

By John Carlo Cahinhinan/sunstar.com.ph – The Department of Health (DOH) has finally allowed registered nurses as among the healthcare providers who can own, manage and operate birthing clinics and facilities.
Rosendo Sualog of the DOH-Health Facilities and Services Regulatory Bureau (HFSRB) said the new policy seeks to drastically reduce mother and child mortality rate due to lack of birthing facilities in various areas in the country.

“Nursing birthing clinics is now within the reach of every nurse, within the reach of every community, within the reach of every mother, infant and child,” said Ang Nars Partylist Representative Leah Paquiz

Previously, the maternity care and birthing clinic operations in the country are only given to doctors and midwives but not nurses, who pass rigid four-year health care courses and are required to pass a nursing licensure examination.

Under the new provisions of Administrative Order No. 2012-0012, nurses are now included among the healthcare providers who may operate birthing clinics.

Paquiz, together with other leaders of the nursing profession, lauded the DOH, specifically the HFSRB for amending the administrative order.

“After more than a decade, it has now been finally settled through harmonization of policies that nurses are indeed one of the healthcare providers that can perform actual delivery of new born babies,” Paquiz said.

Philippine Health Insurance Corporation president Alex Padilla said the state-run health insurance firm will cover the birthing clinics that will be run by nurses in the same manner hospitals and maternity clinics are covered.

Carmencita Abaquin, chairperson of the Professional Regulatory Board of Nursing, said that the legal basis for allowing nurses to operate and own child birth facilities is embodied in Republic Act 9173 or the Philippine Nursing Act of 2002.

Under the law, nurses may perform nursing services that include nursing care during conception, labor, delivery, infancy and even childhood.

The country has over 800,000 nurses registered with the Professional Regulations Commission, at least 400,000 of them still unemployed or underemployed, Paquiz said.

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