House Bill 4900 prohibits collection of fees from nursing apprentice

Nursing graduates will soon be allowed to undergo on–the-job training without paying the regular fees being charged by most of the hospitals in the country.

House Bill 4900, authored by Rep. Salvio Fortuno (5th District, Camarines Sur), prohibits private and public administrators from collecting fees from nursing apprentices who will undergo training at their hospitals.

Fortuno said under the bill, the "Pay for Training" scheme being implemented by most of the hospitals in the country will be considered a criminal act punishable by one year imprisonment and a fine of not more than P200,000.

According to Fortuno, nursing apprentices are required to pay the hospitals for 6 months training by as much as P20,000 and are not assured of any job in any medical institutions. "Since no hospitals will hire them, nursing graduates instead land in call centers and other jobs not related to their profession," Fortuno said.

"Nursing apprentices are forced to pay for the required training. Even the government hospitals are demanding fees for the training," Fortuno declared.

Fortuno said the practice could be considered an exploitation of the highest order. These hospitals will no longer hire registered nurses because the nursing apprentices are doing the job, Fortuno said.

Under the bill, nursing graduates who passed and obtained licenses from the Professional Regulations Commission (PRC) will undergo a 6-month on-the-job free of charge training in any government or private hospitals or medical centers.

The bill provides that a nurse will not be allowed to leave for employment abroad unless the prescribed training has been completed as certified by the hospital or medical center concerned.

Fortuno said due to lack of employment opportunities in the country many nurses are compelled to seek a better future for themselves and their families.

"Many Filipino nurses are accepting lower medical jobs abroad due to declining demands in the United States and in the United Kingdom. The nurses and their families have made huge financial sacrifices and yet they are in the losing end," Fortuno said.

Fortuno said the objective of the bill is to criminalize the practice of demanding fees from nursing apprentices while they are in on-the-job training at hospitals.