'Pirating' of Filipino nursing students alarming - group

Davinci Maru, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 23 2023 03:11 PM

Nursing students attend physical classes at the Far Eastern University in Manila on Feb. 23, 2022. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News/File
Nursing students attend physical classes at the Far Eastern University in Manila on Feb. 23, 2022. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA — The Philippine Nurses Association on Monday expressed concern on the alleged "pirating" of Filipino nursing students by some European countries.

PNA president Melvin Miranda said some European nations were "aggressive" in the recruitment of Filipino nursing students by offering scholarship grants.

"We truly support the internationalization. However, we need to safeguard the implementing rules and regulation. That's why we are calling for a dialogue or certainly a discussion on this matter since this is very alarming," he told ANC's "Rundown".

According to reports, foreign countries are offering "competitive" packages to second year nursing students, which include tuition and lodging.

In the Philippines, private hospitals pay their nurses between P9,000 and P15,000, Miranda noted. Meanwhile, entry-level nurses in public hospitals start with a monthly salary of P33,000.

In a press briefing last week, Department of Health officer-in-charge Maria Rosario Vergeire said the government could not prevent healthcare workers from leaving the country "because that’s their right to find more productive and bigger pay."

The agency has proposed to Congress to standardize the salaries of nurses in public and private hospitals.

The DOH also eyes improving the benefits of healthcare workers and providing more scholarships.

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