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Thursday, September 25, 2008

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

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Monday, September 22, 2008

Fewer jobs abroad for nurses

Despite the high global demand, employment prospects appear to be getting bleak for new Filipino nurses.

Data from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) recently showed that only two of every 100 students taking up nursing are likely to qualify and get employed overseas.

While the country is producing a high of 400,000 nursing graduates annually, records from the DOLE's Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) indicated a very limited deployment of Filipino nurses for the past seven years.

From 2000 to 2007, POEA recorded only a total of 77,947 nurses hired in the United States and other countries.

The highest deployment of 13,822 was recorded in 2001.

Last year, 9,000 Filipino nurses were employed overseas as the number of students, who enrolled in nursing schools, ballooned to 450,000.

Based on the POEA data, Saudi Arabia employed the biggest number of Filipino nurses in 2007 with a total of 6,633, followed by the United Arab Emirates, 616 and Kuwait, 393.

United States and United Kingdom, which are the favorite destinations of most Filipino nurses, employed 186 and 38, respectively.

Labor Undersecretary Carmelita Pineda earlier admitted that the country is now experiencing a surplus of nurses mainly due to the huge number of young Filipinos opting to take up nursing.

She further pointed out that lack of necessary facilities to train nursing students as well as lack of experience hamper licensed Filipino nurses from getting employed overseas.

"The number of nursing enrollees has ballooned from 30,000 in year 2000 to a high of 450,000 last year and yet we have a shortage of qualified nurses to work abroad," Pineda pointed out.

Amid oversupply of nurses in the country, the local recruitment industry yesterday pushed for the upgrading of all nursing schools.

Recruitment leader Lito Soriano said instead of closing down nursing schools, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) should upgrade them to cope with the demand for qualified nurses.

Meantime, despite plans to strictly regulate the hiring of Filipino domestic helpers, the POEA has maintained that the government does not intend to close the market. - Mayen Jaymalin (Philstar News Service,

Sunday, September 21, 2008

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KSA starts recruiting, training 2,000 Filipino nurses

MANILA, Philippines — Saudi Arabia is now in the process of recruiting 2,000 Filipino nurses and has announced 1,000 scholarships for Saudi girls to address the shortage of specialist nursing staff.

Online news site Arab News ( reported Friday that the Health Ministry aims to meet the "urgent" requirement for 10,000 nurses.

"A number of seats for Saudi women have also been reserved in premier health institutions in Jordan, Australia, the US, Britain and Bahrain, to enable them to pursue specialist nursing training," said Dr. Munira Al-Osaimi, MOH's director general of nursing.

The report said the Ministry of Health is seeking to increase the number of Saudis in the nursing sector to 60 percent within the next five years.

It is also offering advance training to nurses who have graduated from Kingdom's medical colleges.

Al-Osaimi said Saudi Arabia's health service is critically understaffed in areas including neonatal, intensive care, emergency care, and pediatrics.

She said the overseas course slots have been selected for convenience rather than the quality of the degree on offer.

These scholarships are part of a widespread campaign to attract more Saudi nurses to work in this field, she added.

Chita Cilindro, regional director for the Manila-based Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), said the recruitment by the Saudi Ministry of Health is in cooperation with the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).

"The recruitment process was assisted by POEA, an attached agency of DOLE, and the Saudi Embassy in Manila," she said.

Cilindro also called on the applicants to approach the recruiting agencies as early as possible.

She pointed out that the candidates must be graduates in nursing with or without work experience. She said there will be no placement fees and that the salary range will be between SR2,250 to SR4,000. - GMANews.TV (

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