Wednesday, November 21, 2007

The struggle to find a job

A couple of days ago I blogged about the plight of 3,000 male nurses in Saudi who can't find jobs. The kingdom's ministry of health chief thinks that's already a crisis. In the Philippines, government officials wouldn't even bat an eyelash if tens of thousands of nurses today are unemployed.

Just digest these figures a bit:

In December 2006, around 20,000 Filipino nurses passed the bi-annual licensure exam conducted by the country's Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC). In the following exams, some 32,000 made it to become registered nurses as well.

How many of these successful exam-takers do you think has been employed? With retrogression still a major hurdle in the US job market, how many of our registered nurses are actually working? Even with other markets, outside the US are open, such as the Middle East, how many have actually found employment? To add to our woes, the 32,000 nurses who passed the June 2007 exams still don't have actual licenses yet. So, just imagine how many new nurses will flood hospital employers once these people are actually allowed to work.

In December, another 60,000 nurse applicants will take the licensure test, we could easily breach the 100,000 mark pretty soon if the job market doesn't improve--not just in the US, Middle East, and Europe, but also at home.

Today, Philippine healthcare facilities make tons of money out of new nurses. Hospitals charge an arm and a leg for their training seminars. Most employers won't hire new nurses unless they go through a training program that applicants must pay for from their own pockets. The word "volunteer" has taken a new meaning in the context of Philippine healthcare. The freedictionary.com defines "volunteer" as: "To do charitable or helpful work without pay". But in the Philippines, a "volunteer nurse" must pay before he or she is allowed to render charitable work.

Many employers in the US don't even know what a volunteer nurse does. They have volunteer workers who help greet visitors, help with supplies, or provide assistance that are non-medical in nature.

But in the Philippines, volunteer nurses do everything a staff nurse does. The only difference between them is the direction of the money flow. Staff nurses are paid, volunteer nurses pay.

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4 comments:

Anonymous said...

This article hits it all! superb, well-said! And im one of those unemployed, waiting for retro to be lift and undergoing the paid-volunteership!

Anonymous said...

Tama ka jan pre! They keep on saying na may shortage ang Pnas sa nurses due to massive exodus pero maling mali, wala ngang mapasukan na may sweldo at ang karamihan ng hospitals ay natuto ng rumaket sa volunteer program na yan. I hope the Phil government will do something about this. Lets keep our fingers crossed na ma lift na retro. Goodluck sa lahat.

Anonymous said...

these people who takes advantages of poor filifino nurses are INSANE (plain and simple)

Anonymous said...

Geoff everything you said... I believe is true!!!! Our Goverment should do something about it... because i think the health of the Filipino people is the only wealth that they have right now....

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