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Wednesday, 27 January, 1999, 13:54 GMT
Nurse exodus hits the Philippines
Filipino nurses
Filipino nurses are in great demand in the UK
The exodus of Filipino nurses for jobs in the UK is putting the health system of their native land under tremendous strain.

Three hospitals in Surrey have already headhunted 120 filipino nurses and other units, desperate for new nurses, are set to follow suit. The Royal College of Nursing has estimated that there are 13,000 nurse vacancies in the NHS.

Hector Nazareno, a surgeon at a specialist unit in the Philippines, says more than 50% of the nurses he works with will soon have left for lucrative jobs in the UK.

"This is a special unit. It does present a lot of problems. We have to train nurses for this special job and then after two or three years they leave."

Patient Gertrudis Cabling is critical of the way nurses are jumping ship.

She said: "I think it is pitiful that instead of working here in their own country these nurses are being lured to Britain. I suppose I don't blame them given the enormous salaries overseas."

Money for the family

Louey Madrid
Louey Madrid is coming to work in the UK
Louey Madrid is one of the many nurses coming to the UK. She was top of the class throughout four years of nurse training.

She plans to send much of the money that she will earn in the UK back to her relatives.

She said: "I have already promised them that I will send them to college for whatever courses they have to take."

Drake International is the only company licensed to recruit Filipino nurses for UK health trusts. The company charges approximately 1,500 for each nurse it recruits.

Roy Longstaff
Roy Longstaff claims The Philippines system will benefit
Managing director Ron Longstaff said: "There is a surplus of skilled nurses available, there are not the jobs available here for them locally.

"If they are deployed into the UK in two years time they will come back with skills and knowledge that they have acquired that will benefit the system here, and not detract from the system."

Drake International believes there are enough nurses in the Philippines to solve the UK recruitment crisis completely.

See also:

08 Jan 99 | Health
Why an NHS nurse is hard to find
30 Dec 98 | Health
Agency nurse costs soar in NHS
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