Due to adopted practices of some hospitals and clamor for approval for a divergent work schedule, Department of Health (DOH) issued Department Circular no. 2013-0423 prescribing for guidelines on allowing two (2) work shift duty for nurses in hospitals. Under the previously issued AO no. 2012-0012, hospitals are to maintain the 1:12 nurse to bed ratio on a three (3) work shifts in twenty four (24) hours.
This circular is a modification of the latter or the “Rules and Regulations Governing the New Classification of Hospitals and Other Health Facilities in the Philippines”.
Under the new guidelines, the two work shift schedule is only applicable to general nursing service, which is required to maintain an authorized nurse to bed ratio of 1:8. It shall not be applicable to emergency room, operating room, delivery room and all intensive care units in the hospital, which are still required to maintain the bed ratio under DOH AO no. 2012-0012.
To qualify, the hospital must have a maximum occupancy rate of 85% for the past three (3) consecutive years. The nurses’ regular working hours is forty (40) hours a week with the rest of the working hours subject to overtime pays. Also, the work schedule must be consistent to a Collective Negotiating//Bargaining Agreement, if there is such an agreement.
To avail of divergent work schedule for nurses, interested hospital must apply at the DOH-Bureau of Health Facilities Services.