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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Glut of Filipino nurses leads to exploitation

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MANILA, Philippines - A glut of registered nurses and nursing graduates in the country has led to their exploitation by some hospitals, which require them to pay to be allowed to do “volunteer work.”

At a hearing of the Senate health and labor committees, nursing organizations confirmed new nurses are forced to resort to “volunteerism-for-a-fee” just so they could rack up experience needed for future employment here or abroad.

Dr. Teresita Barcelo, Philippine Nursing Association president, said some hospitals have taken to calling the practice “training programs.”

“These hospitals have found a way of going around this volunteerism-for-a-fee, kasi naman unethical talaga,” she said.

However, Barcelo also admitted no one wants to file a formal complaint or testify against unscrupulous hospitals or health care facilities since the volunteer nurse also benefits by way of getting an employment certificate.

Alvin Dakis of the Association of Young Nurse Leaders and Advocates International said: “We keep telling our nurses to stop doing this because it’s illegal.”

Philippine Hospitals Association (PHA) vice president Dr. Hermogenes Jarin said it was the first time he had heard of the practice of “volunteerism-for-a-fee." He agreed it should not be condoned.

However, he confirmed that some PHA members indeed charge fees for training programs for new nurses, a practice allowed by both the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) and the Professional Regulation Commission


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