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Liz Hewitt, Royal College of Nursing
"It's always been our view that it's a perfectly acceptable short-term answer"
 real 56k

Dame June Clarke, Professor of Community Nursing
"We must not strip the resources of poor countries"
 real 28k

Monday, 9 October, 2000, 18:30 GMT 19:30 UK
Filipino nurses 'not the answer'
Filipino nurses
The first Filipino nurses arrived two years ago
A senior health academic has warned that hiring nurses from the Far East will not work as a quick fix for hospital staffing shortages.

Dame June Clarke, Professor of Community Nursing at Swansea University, said Wales's hospital wards could face another winter of discontent.

"This year, a lot of effort has been put in by the assembly but even so, it takes three or more years to produce a qualified nurse," said Dame June.


I hope we never have to do this again

Dame June Clarke, Professor of Community Nursing

She said the hiring of Filipino nurses by Morriston Hospital in Swansea to fill vacancies was "certainly not the answer".

"We need to be able to use our own resources, not stripping those from poor countries that need them.

"I hope we never have to do this again."

Short-term

The first of a group of 50 Filipino nurses are to begin work in south Wales to help a hospital trust avert a staffing crisis.

The Royal College of Nursing said the use of 50 Filipino nurses at in Wales was only a short-term answer.

The RCN has estimated that up to 2,000 new nurses are needed if Welsh hospitals are to avoid a major crisis.

It is calling on the assembly to address the issue as a matter of urgency.

Fillipino nurses are already working in Britain, the first batch arriving nearly two years ago - mainly in the south east of England - but a group was also employed by Llandough hospital, near Cardiff.

The RCN said Ceredigion NHS Trust was trying to recruit in Spain.

The foreign nurses will be paid the same as their Welsh counterparts - but will be restricted to a two-year contract.

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See also:

01 Oct 00 | Wales
Hospital seeks overseas nurses
18 Sep 00 | Health
Nurses to get NHS bonus
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