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Nurse loss may threaten health care in Philippines

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THE Board of Health is to look into claims that the recruitment of nurses from the Philippines is contributing to the closure of hospitals there.

THE Board of Health is to look into claims that the recruitment of nurses from the Philippines is contributing to the closure of hospitals there. Board president Peter Roffey said: 'The last thing we want to do is impact adversely on other people's health services.' He said he would ask the board's director of nursing to look more deeply into claims that the recruitment of nurses for the NHS was causing an acute problem. The matter was highlighted in the Sunday Times. Guernsey has followed the UK policy of recruiting from Third World countries to remedy the nurse shortage. The Sunday Times story quoted Jaime Galvez Tan, a former health secretary and now a professor at the University of the Philippines College of Medicine, who warned of the collapse of his country's health system within the next five years unless the loss of nurses was halted. Another group of Filipino nurses was recruited for the Princess Elizabeth Hospital in June when two senior nurse managers flew 17,000 miles from Guernsey to India and the Philippines, via Dubai, to interview potential new staff. The nurses are found by an international recruitment agency, which charges the board £1,500 for every one subsequently appointed. Deputy Roffey said: 'What we do is follow best-practice guidelines from the UK. 'However, if that has been shown to be an error, I am sure we will adjust our recruitment policy accordingly.' The board would not, however, stop the recruitment merely because of a story in the Sunday Times. n Indian and Filipino nurses start work in the island on the pay of an unqualified auxiliary until they have completed a six-month induction period and joined the UK nurse register. The Royal College of Nursing has said that as the nurses were already trained and experienced in their own countries, they should be paid at qualified rates.

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