Nurses’ salaries to be increased among other new benefits proposed

Saturday, November 8, 2008
Issue 521, Page 2
Word count: 375
Published in: Macau Daily Times

By Poyi (Natalie) Leung

The Macau government is planning to spend additional 85 million patacas annually on adjusting nurses’ salaries in a bid to attract more recruits to join the profession.

According to the research commissioned by the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, there was a lack of 1,600 nurses in Macau as in December 2006.

The Health Bureau’s human resources statistics also showed that between 2006 and 2008 only 160 recruits joined the force whilst 54 nurses resigned at the same time.

In order to achieve sustainable growth for health care services and nursing profession especially to protect public health, and also to attract more professionals and create an ideal career prospect, the Executive Council proposed a new vocational system to improve nurses’ salaries, promotion prospects and other benefits.

The number of position levels will be increased from five to six, namely prime nurses, senior nurses, nursing specialists, senior nursing specialist, nurses in chief and nurse supervisors.

Salaries of the six position levels will range from 25,370 patacas to 42,480 patacas, up by 16 percent to 42 percent from the existing 20,060 patacas to 31,270 patacas.

Tong Chi Kin, the spokesman of the Executive Council, said nurses might be back paid but the starting date would be determined by the Legislative Assembly.

However, at the same time the new vocational system would require nursing professions to hold related bachelor degree qualification which Mr Tong said more than half of the existing nurses could reach the requirement.

For those who do not possess the educational qualification, they will be eligible to be admitted to the new vocational system immediately after completing a nursing degree or scoring 250 points in the special assessment scheme proposed by the Executive Council.

The assessment will look at whether a nurse has completed any basic nursing course, training, further studies, and also his or her position level and years of nursing experience.

Mr Tong said with the assessment scheme he expected that a majority of the nursing professions would be able to enter the new vocational system.

Meanwhile, other changes in the profession after the bill is passed at the Legislative Assembly will include adjustments of rotation and night shift allowances as well as offering a 36-hour training period to staff every year.

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