Desensitized. This was exactly how we felt when we received the announcement that the 5,000 deployment cap on nurses has already been reached. It was like 2020 once again, when the deployment ban was first imposed on nurses and other healthcare professionals. We already knew that this was coming, considering the kind of governance that the entire country has been experiencing since last year.
We won’t be surprised if you had a similar reaction. When you’re in a kind of profession that’s been repeatedly neglected and abused, the re-imposition of the ban is basically a very predictable scenario. More often than not, we save our surprise for the concrete fulfillment of any form of good news, such as a pay slip that actually reflects a salary increase or the arrival of sufficient PPEs for the entire staff. Such is the sad plight of Filipino nurses: They’re so used to the maltreatment, to the point that any semblance of improvement is already considered a miracle.
But we must not feel this way. We need to snap ourselves out of this nonchalance because this is exactly what encourages such incidents. Nurses were already being maltreated long before the pandemic: If you think that the government will stop imposing deployment bans once the pandemic ends, you've got to be kidding yourself. On the contrary, the ban will be imposed and reimposed, for as long as there are nurses who are willing to accept it.
What must be done then? As a recruitment agency that’s been deploying nurses and healthcare professionals, here are the few ideas that we have in mind.
1. Stand up to the bullies. Our News Feeds may be frequently bombarded with “Lift Deployment Ban” statements, but did you know that many Filipino nurses, agencies, and affected industries would rather dance with the perpetrators than stand up to them? In today's political climate, there is real fear haunting many Filipinos, to the point that obviously oppressive actions are frequently met with desperate "pakiusaps", as if the deployment ban wasn’t inhumane and unconstitutional in the first place. Remember when certain groups were suddenly granted exemptions last year, and then we even thanked the government for doing so? It has already come to that!
Those who are in power will carry on with what they’ve been doing, for as long as no one challenges them outright. Fear is understandable, because going against the tide requires risking a lot of things: our jobs, our security, and even the lives of the families and loved ones that depend on us. But ultimately, there’s something much more important than all of these: That we are human beings deserving of certain basic rights, some of which are our right to travel abroad and our right to work where there is need for work. It’s just as simple as that.
2. Call for a total lifting of the ban. Since last year, a number of exemptions, caps, and other ways of “relaxing” the deployment ban were issued by the government. This has allowed select groups or limited numbers of nurses fly abroad and pursue their dream jobs overseas in the past months. These concessions were greeted with celebration and applause, specifically by the nurses, agencies and related parties that benefited from them. What many didn’t notice, however, is how these adjustments have weakened our collective stand against the deployment ban: With less and less nurses and parties being affected by it, the once unified voice of the opposition has softened as well.
If we truly want to have the deployment ban lifted and prevent it from happening again in the future, we must be clear and consistent with our position. Even if we’re not “affected” anymore, we would have to continue the fight because it is much bigger than all of us! The future of nursing is dependent on how we will respond to this situation. Let’s set a good bar for tomorrow’s nurses by always asking ourselves, “Are we the kind of nurses that we want the future ones to become? If this happens to them as well, how would we want them to deal with it?"
3. Speak up. People don’t have to be nurses to be able to understand where you’re coming from. Many times, they just need to hear your stories to be able to empathize with what you’re going through. The voice of a single nurse can already create so many waves: Imagine how much more impact the voice of hundreds or thousands of nurses can make!
Of course, you will encounter friends and colleagues who still won’t understand your stories. As a recruitment agency, we ourselves had to deal with a lot of cruel comments, with people often labeling us as the "taga-ubos ng mga nurses sa Pilipinas". To this, we answer them with three important points.
There may be a dearth of nurses working in Philippine hospitals, but banning them from working abroad will not solve the problem. More often than not, these nurses would rather work in BPOs, the military, or other non-nursing positions since they couldn’t deal with the heavy workload, poor working environment, and low compensation in hospitals.
Deployment bans like these will negatively affect the number of Filipino nurses in the future. If you think that the current situation is bad enough, imagine how much worse it will be given how nurses are being treated amidst a deadly pandemic. No matter how much they want to pursue nursing, young adults may find it too risky knowing that the government can easily abuse or control the profession. If people are having difficulties understanding this, we go on asking them, "Bakit ikaw? Sa lagay ng sitwasyon ngayon, gugustuhin mo pa bang mag Nursing anak mo?" We all know what they'll answer.
Filipinos, and not just nurses, will continue looking for work abroad if the Philippines’ political and economical climate remain toxic. There have been attempts to incentivize Filipinos to stay in the Philippines or OFWs to come back to the country, but these will all be futile for as long as the Philippines is still in a pretty bad shape. The state of the entire country is obviously not in the hands of recruitment agencies alone: In fact, agencies like us are at least able to provide immediate solutions to Filipinos who are in dire need of financial stability. To ban nurses from going abroad, then, is like telling them, “hindi, dito lang kayo, magtiis kayo sa hirap ng buhay kahit magutom kayo!”
Speaking up requires courage, but it eventually becomes easier because it inspires courage in others too. So just keep talking and keep sharing: You’re attracting more allies than you think.
4. Carry on. We’ve said this last year and we’ll say it again: It’s important for nurses to continue their overseas applications, especially since we will continue recruiting nurses and healthcare professionals despite the deployment ban. If there’s one lesson that this deployment ban has taught all of us, it is that fortune favors the prepared. Most of the nurses who carried on with their applications last year are already working abroad as we speak. Those who decided to put their applications on hold, on the other hand, are still dealing with the same problem that they’ve already witnessed last year. If working abroad is what your heart truly desires, then we encourage you to act fast: You never know when good news will happen, so it’s better that you’re at least ready.
Some of the hot vacancies that we have at the moment are the following:
IELTS / OET PASSER STAFF NURSE VACANCIES IN THE UNITED KINGDOM
The NHS Professionals (NHSP) is a leading provider of workforce solutions to the National Health and Social Care in the U.K. It manages over 130,000 members working in more than 100 hospitals all over England. Employment with NHSP comes with a number of benefits, such as prioritization in booking regular and OT shifts and conveniently accessing payslips through its online app. Majority of its Trusts also give importance to educational and professional development as they work in partnership with renowned universities. It is continuously looking for Staff Nurses who would like to work in the United Kingdom.
24,907GBP ( ~ PhP 1,650,000.00+) with annual increment
Overtime pay and priority in NHS employment bank
Extra payments for evenings, nights and weekends
Access to the generous NHS Pension Scheme
Free accommodation for 3 months or up to 1,500GBP ( ~ PhP 99,000+)
27 days paid annual leave
Free air ticket
500 - 1,000 GBP ( ~ 33,000 - 66,000PhP) cash advance upon arrival depending on the hospital / Trust
10,000PhP cash incentive for IELTS / OET passers (to be given after successfully passing the employer interview and CBT)
Free fully structured training program aimed at achieving the OSCE
Visa and IOM costs to be shouldered
Reimbursement of costs (1x passed IELTS/OET, initial NMC registration and 1x passed CBT) depending on the hospital / Trust
No placement or processing fee
At least 1 year of post-license hospital experience (volunteer work will be considered)
IELTS / OET passer (IELTS: at least 6.5 in Writing and at least 7.0 in Listening, Reading and Speaking, OET: at least C+ in Writing and at least B in Listening, Reading and Speaking)
No more than 6 months of work gap
Choose from these 2 ways to apply.
Sign up at www.tinyurl.com/AbbaNHSP2021
Send your updated CV IELTS/OET result, valid PRC ID, passport and Skype ID to firstname.lastname@example.org
For questions or concerns, contact Nao through: 0946 930 0437 / 0917 894 8780.
NCLEX PASSER STAFF NURSE VACANCIES IN THE U.S.A.
We are looking for Filipino RNs who will be employed through a nurse contracting agency that has sent over 1,200 healthcare professionals to the U.S. For almost three decades, this employer has weathered fluctuating lead times, rising immigration issues, and the changing professional and personal lives of its applicants: The current crisis, then, is just another challenge to surpass. Now more than ever, track record is everything: You can only trust one that has survived the long and complex U.S. nurse application process through the years! Benefits
Around 200,000 – 400,000PhP monthly salary
NCLEX review and exam reimbursement
IELTS review and exam reimbursement
Visa Screen fee and processing assistance
Immigrant visa processing
Life and health insurances
Car loan provision
Accommodation upon arrival
4,000USD start-up advance
No placement or processing fee
NCLEX Passer RN
At least 6 months of post-license experience
Experience must be in the adult care area of a tertiary hospital with at least 100 beds
Choose from these 2 easy ways to apply. For questions or concerns, call Coleen at +63977-805 3905 / +63939-190 3412.