This is from the Canadian Press. It is really not fair that the Philippines should in effect be subsidizing the Canadian health care system. The least we could do is to provide funds to Philippine nursing programs to help defray their costs. More of the nurses would be hired in the Philippines if hospitals had the money to pay them. The university my wife's niece graduated from would not hire her. The best they could offer is that she work as an unpaid volunteer to gain experience!
Hundreds of nurses from Philippines recruited to ease Sask nursing shortage
21 hours ago
REGINA — Saskatchewan's government has moved to ease the province's nursing shortage by recruiting nearly 300 new nurses from the Philippines.
But Health Minister Don McMorris, who announced the hirings Tuesday, cautioned that the problem is far from addressed.
"Don't ever get the impression that this fixes a problem because it certainly doesn't," said McMorris.
"This would be an ongoing effort."
In late February, a delegation that included officials from the government, five health regions, the Saskatchewan Registered Nurses Association and the Saskatchewan Union of Nurses went to the Philippines. The goal was to try to woo nurses with competitive wages and a compensation package.
Saskatchewan is currently short 1,000 nurses, according to the nurses union. Hundreds more are expected to retire over the new three years.
The Saskatchewan Party government has promised to hire 800 more nurses in its first term of office.
"This is only a small part of it," McMorris said of the recruitment trip. "This certainly doesn't fix the whole issue of the shortage that we have. We still have to do a lot of work on retaining our graduates."
McMorris said it was too early to say if there would be another trip overseas.
It appears the success of this one was also a matter of lucky timing. One official said a number of the new hires were originally heading to the United States.
"But given the current political environment with the upcoming election, they've actually closed much of their borders to many of these people who were recruited," said Bonnie Blakely with the Saskatoon Health Region.
"They (Philippines) had already started to expedite the process to the U.S., and now have said that if that's not going to be a market open to them, they'd like to come to Canada."
The province will pay the nurses as much as $5,000 for relocation and travel costs.
Health officials say the recruitment will not cause a brain-drain in hospitals in the Philippines. They say 100,000 nurses were trained in the country last year and 47,000 of those passed their exams. However, only 15 to 20 per cent were hired in the Philippines.
"They train more nurses than what they need," said McMorris. "It just so happens we're one of those countries that need the people that they're training."