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Nursing News / Ghana to Trade Nurses for Cash...
Last post by Administrator - Dec 06, 2022, 08:04 AM
Ghana is about signing a nurse-for-cash agreement with the government of the United Kingdom.

Each nurse Ghana sends to the UK, once the deal is done, is likely to fetch the West African country £1,000, Health Minister Kweku Agyeman-Manu announced on the floor of parliament on Monday, 5 December 2022 during a debate of the 2023 budget.

Already, Ghanaian nurses are being sent to Barbados per an earlier agreement signed between the two countries.

"Mr Speaker, as you are aware, we've started sending our nurses outside on a bilateral basis and the agreement we signed with Barbados has sent the second cohort of nurses to Barbados. Mr Speaker, why would they come for both? Now, in Barbados, what we hear is the fact that patients are requesting Ghanaian nurses to be on their bedside and I think that is a plus for us", Mr Agyeman-Manu said.

"We are engaging with the government of the United Kingdom and we are just about signing a memorandum of understanding after Cabinet approval to begin to send nurses, even certificate nurses to go for training and work there and come back home after three years", he told the house.

"And, out of these nurses, Ghana is going to benefit from some little monies that the UK government will pass on", he noted, explaining: "For every single nurse that goes away – when we finish the agreement – it's likely we'll get a £1,000 to come back to support our health system".

Ninety-five Ghanaian nurses (49 women and 46 men) on Thursday, 30 July 2020 arrived in Barbados on an Azores Airlines chartered flight for a two-year contract.

They were to help the Caribbean country's healthcare system.

In March 2022, the Prime Minister of the Island nation, Mia Motley, said during Ghana's 65th independence anniversary in the Central Region, at which she was the special guest of honour, that: "I stand here on your Independence Day to thank the people of Ghana for being able to support us in our need for nurses, with the first 95 nurses having gone to Barbados in July 2020."

"We thank you, the government of the people of Ghana, for that most generous gesture, and we are heartened that they have made a huge difference to our public healthcare system; so much so that we have completed an interview for another 200 nurses to come to Barbados in the near future," she added.

In November 2019, the Foreign Ministers of Ghana and Barbados, on behalf of the governments and peoples of their respective countries, signed an agreement for the recruitment of a total of 120 nurses from Ghana to complement the staffing needs of the island nation.

The agreement was signed on Friday, 15 November 2019 at Ghana's Jubilee House, when the Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley, paid a courtesy call on the President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, as part of her official visit. 

The objective of the agreement is to provide the framework for the provision of nurses by the Republic of Ghana to Barbados, taking cognisance of the existing commitment of Barbados to accepted international workforce policies and practices, as well as the International Council of Nurses (ICN) Code of Ethics for nurses.

The scope of services and responsibilities include Ghana providing registered nurses to Barbados with a level of expertise as agreed to by both countries, with Barbados providing Ghanaian nurses safe and secure working conditions for professional practice, and medical treatment where needed.

Remuneration is commensurate with the terms and conditions of Barbadian local registered nurses. Barbados is also to provide professional support to Ghanaian nurses to comply with the guidelines and rules of the Nursing Council of Barbados.

A total of 150 short-listed candidates underwent interviews, out of which 120 were to have been chosen.

The qualified nurses possess a minimum of three years of experience, with specialities in the following areas: critical care, cardiac catheterisation, emergency room, operating theatre, and ophthalmology.

It will be recalled that on 15 June 2019, during an official visit to Barbados, as part of activities to promote the declaration of 2019 as the Year of Return, President Akufo-Addo, in principle, agreed to a request by Prime Minister Mottley to send some nurses to work in a number of medical facilities in Barbados.

Addressing a press conference in the aftermath of the bilateral discussions, and with Barbados facing an acute nursing shortage, the Barbadian Prime Minister stated that "we have indicated that we are searching for just under 400 nurses, so it is not a small number, and we really do believe that this is a wonderful opportunity of co-operation between our two countries."

In addition, she noted that there was also an initial promise to secure the nurses and provide joint education programmes going forward, all in an attempt to secure Barbados' healthcare sector.

For his part, President Akufo-Addo indicated that "we have a surplus of nurses in Ghana, and placing them all in our public health system is one of my headaches. There have been a lot (of nurses) produced, which, for several years, we have not been able to do anything with."

He continued, "So, I am going back. I will be back in Accra on Monday, and, the week after, the Prime Minister will hear from me on this matter of nurses."

Nursing News / Recalled From Rest: Nigerian H...
Last post by Administrator - Nov 28, 2022, 10:54 PM
Faced with a shortage of nurses, Nigerian hospitals are recruiting retired nurses on contract to bolster their work-force. LARA ADEJORO writes

Mrs Turaki has always loved a career in nursing but her passion for the profession is now under strain. The burdens are heavy and many: a shortage of staff, poor working conditions, inadequate equipment and a heavy workload. Most of these are the spin-offs from the massive emigration of medical workers to foreign countries.

In the 15 years, Turaki, who declined to give her first name, has been a nurse, short-staffing has only gotten worse at the tertiary hospital where she works in Bauchi State. Seven of her nursing friends at the hospital have left the shores of the country for greener pastures.

"I'm not enjoying the job again," she told The PUNCH. "This was not what I thought before joining the profession. I thought it's meant to get better but things are getting worse; no equipment, no good remuneration."

Turaki now runs longer shifts and attends to more patients. Normally, she is meant to care for four patients, or at most 10. When she arrives at work, she has to decide which of the 50 patients on the queue needs urgent care or minor surgeries.

"In a day, I attend to at least 20 patients and if I'm on the triaging table, I must attend to about 50 patients daily. I will triage them one after the other to know the department to refer them to. I have to go through their folders and check if they are new cases or they are emergency cases," she added.

For minor surgeries, between 10 and 15 patients, she has to attend to them one after the other, working hand in hand with the doctors.

"In my clinic, we work from 8 am to 4 pm but if you're on call, once you close by 4 pm, you remain on duty from that 4 pm till 8 am the next day," she said.

As a result of the gruelling workload and lack of working tools, Turaki thinks the world is on her shoulders. Her emotions run high, especially when the human cost of the poor state of healthcare delivery adds up. Many times, she breaks down in tears.

"There was a patient who required an emergency tracheotomy but the equipment was not available. We referred the patient to another hospital in Jos, which was the closest but before getting there, he died. The patient's relatives called to say he died," Turaki said.

Essential but undervalued

For all her troubles, her pay, she noted, is not worth it. At Grade Level 13, she earns N210,000 monthly. "I'm on CONHESS 12, which is GL 13 in the civil service. Our colleagues that have travelled abroad earn up to N1 million," she said.

Just like Turaki, Mrs Ameh (real name withheld to avoid reprimand) feels overwhelmed and undervalued. "I enjoy my nursing job but I am overwhelmed. We are only two nurses in the clinic; we get burnt out because we attend to more than 20 patients, sometimes 70 patients a day. This is what we face every day. The work that should have been done by four people is being done by two people," Ameh, who works in one of the tertiary hospitals in Ondo State said.

Asked whether she is considering leaving the country for where she believes her services will be highly rewarded, she said "yes," without hesitation.

"If I see the opportunity, I won't wait, I will go; the work is overwhelming. Today, we attended to more than 30 patients. So, if I have the means to go, I will go. I think about it every day."

Thousands of nurses like Turaki and Ameh are frustrated on the job due to the increasingly difficult working conditions. At least 57,000 of their colleagues, according to the President of the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives, Michael Nnachi, left the country between 2017 and 2022 to earn better pay.

More nurses leaving

Despite the World Health Organisation code of practice, which states that member states should discourage active recruitment of health professionals from developing countries facing critical shortages of health workers, the latest data from the Nursing and Midwifery Council shows that there is a big rise in the number of Nigerian-trained nurses who join the register. And a majority of them are young.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council noted that almost half the international joiners last year were aged 30 or under, and a similar number were in their 40s. Only five per cent were 41 and above, compared to 14 per cent of United Kingdom joiners.

The NMC, which is the regulator for nursing and midwifery professions in the UK said many are settling in and around London. However, NMC data does show professionals moving to all corners of the UK and England.

According to the NMC data, 7,256 trained nurses in Nigeria relocated to the UK between March 2021 and March 2022. Stakeholders fear the worst is yet to come as more nurses may leave in droves if no urgent action is taken.

One to 1,660

Nnachi confirmed that the migration of nurses to other countries leaves the burden of care on the few available medical workers. With an estimated population of over 200 million, there is one nurse per 1,660 people in Nigeria, according to Nnachi.

He said, "The concern is that care has to be qualitative but as nurses are leaving, there is such an increase in the workload that if I tell you that it is one nurse to 60 or 80 patients, it might be modest. But if you're looking at the statistics and population of Nigeria, it is one nurse to 1,660 patients. So, where will the quality care come from?"

Retired nurses to the rescue

To save the situation, hospital managements in Nigeria have decided to call back retired nurses. Some of them believe that retired nurses still have much to offer at 59 or older. Though some hospitals denied resorting to such a scheme, the recruited nurses are talking in anger. After a fulfilling nursing career that spanned 35 years, Abimbola Johnson (not real name) took a bow from Lagos State's employ in 2019.

Johnson retired as an Assistant Director of Nursing Services in one of the general hospitals in Lagos. The civil service rule in Nigeria mandates civil servants to retire either after serving for 35 years or attaining the age of 60. The former was the basis for Johnson's retirement as she was 58 years old at that time. But her retirement phase was short-lived and she found herself back at work two years later.

Johnson, who is now 61, said she was recruited again as staff shortage hit the critical workforce and the pressure on hospitals escalated. Johnson, who is currently working in the health service as a contract worker, said her grade level was stepped down by a rank.

She told our correspondent that many of her colleagues are also back to work, all in a bid to salvage the health sector from collapse.

"I have seen colleagues that have renewed their contract up to four times, some of them have even passed age 65. We see them and we know ourselves. Even in the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-araba, we have some of our good old hands that are retired and are back there as contract nurses because of the mass exodus of nurses.

"You find out that the majority of us who are retired due to length of service are back to work, especially with the massive exodus of nurses to other countries, bad state of the economy and dull business environment," the 61-year-old nurse said.

The veteran nurse said she would have felt uncomfortable staying at home when she still had something to offer. "The ability is still there to work. Why would I stay indoors when I still have something to offer, especially when I belong to the class of nurses passionate about the profession?

"My two-year contract ends this December but if I wish to continue, all I have to do is re-apply and renew my contract for another two years," she said.

Another retired nurse, who wished to remain anonymous, said even though she is contributing her quota to healthcare delivery in the country, she is saddened by the overstretched health system and the paltry salary despite the demands of the job.

The nurse retired this year at age 59 as a GL 16 officer but she was recruited almost immediately as a contract nurse on GL 15.

"Even as a retired nurse, when I begin to look at my gratuity, I am not happy. I look at my counterparts that work with Shell and NNPC; I know what their gratuities are. The government needs to review the salary of nurses and that is one of the reasons young nurses are leaving the country,'' she said.

Even with the recycling, thousands of positions remain unfilled across the country and service quality has yet to improve. Turaki and her colleagues may have to endure the drudgery for as long as they can.

"We should declare an emergency in the healthcare sector. The workload is enormous and we are overstretched in taking care of patients," the Chairman of NANNM, Lagos State Council, Olurotimi Awojide, said as he explained how the shortage of nurses undermines the quality of patient care and causes fatigue and burnout.

"It is meant to be one nurse to four patients but because of our peculiarity in Nigeria, we still accepted one nurse to eight patients but now, you will see one nurse to 15 patients. This is not allowing us to provide the expected professional care to the patients.

"Nurses are graduating and leaving immediately after their final year exams because the working conditions are not encouraging. More nurses will still leave; it's a very serious situation. Almost everybody is planning to go abroad," he lamented.

A nursing advocate, Bunmi Lawal said though nurses constitute the largest healthcare workforce, little attention is paid to addressing the push factors.

"We know that in the Federal Capital Territory, more than five nurses leave for the US, UK and Saudi Arabia weekly. Our hazard allowance is nothing to write home about despite battling COVID-19, Lassa fever and other deadly diseases.

"You have a situation where one nurse will run the night shift in some of our general hospitals. In hospitals like the National Hospital, Abuja, two nurses run the night shift, no matter the workload. We are left with fewer hands, and the quality of care is poor.

"The government needs to address the issue of remuneration and specialty in the profession, and improve the equipment in the hospitals. Some hospitals still take delivery on the floor,'' she noted.

Despite all they face, nurses seem to get no recognition as society perceives them to be inferior to doctors. In September, a leaked memo from the Federal Medical Centre, Abeokuta showed that over seven staff collapsed during surgeries in one month due to exhaustion.

The memo written and signed by the Theatre Manager, A.G Fagoyinbo, and dated August 29, 2022, was titled 'Request to reduce the number of elective surgeries: Two patients per specialty per day.'

"The situation is such that only one peri-operative nurse works in the suite instead of three peri-operative nurses, same with other surgical staff (members). The excess workload has resulted in serious burn-out and extreme tiredness," the memo read in part.

While denying that the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, recycles retired nurses to tackle brain drain, the hospital's Medical Advisory Committee Chair, Prof. Wasiu Adeyemo, told our correspondent it is time to employ more nurses.

His counterpart at Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, Prof Adetokunbo Fabamwo, said medical directors are also in pain as the brain drain digs deeper into the nursing profession.

"We are already down to about 30 per cent since about one year now that it got worse," he said.

"At the state government level, stakeholders have examined the issues and decided to expand the capacity of the School of Nursing in Igando to produce more nurses," Fabamwo said, as he confirmed the plan to call back retired nurses.

"Some of them are still young and not up to 60 years and some who are 60 are still capable of working. In the last month or two, we have six applications from retired nurses who want to join us,'' he explained.

He added that the hospital had sought the consent of its governing board in recruiting single qualified nurses for specific areas. Such nurses will be required to acquire their second qualification within two years of recruitment.

"For instance, you can have a registered midwife and they will work in the Obstetrics and Gynaecology department; you can have a registered psychiatrist nurse and they can work in the psychiatry department," Fabamwo clarified further.

LASUTH has also decided to employ ward assistants to take up the non-nursing responsibilities—laying the bed, bathing the patients and lifting them from the bed.

The nursing and midwifery leader, Nnachi, however, insists the conditions of service must be improved to stem the tide of brain drain.

"Motivation has to do with giving you what you deserve. The nurses should have a peculiar allowance because they are suffering. There is nothing wrong if there is an investment in nursing and opportunities for postgraduate programmes. The government can give incentives for postgraduate studies in specialty areas and we need to be recognised and encouraged," he said.

According to WHO, nurses play a critical role in health promotion, disease prevention, and delivering primary and community care.

"Achieving health for all will depend on there being sufficient numbers of well-trained and educated, regulated and well-supported nurses and midwives, who receive pay and recognition commensurate with the services and quality of care that they provide.

"Investing in nurses and midwives is good value for money. The report of the UN High-Level Commission on Health Employment and Economic Growth concluded that investments in education and job creation in the health and social sectors result in a triple return of improved health outcomes, global health security, and inclusive economic growth," the UN body said.

FG mum

When contacted on the telephone, Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, requested that a text message be sent to him on the matter.

He has yet to respond to the text message sent to him as of the time of filing this report.

Also, efforts to reach the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, proved abortive as he could not be reached on the phone.

Nursing News / UNIMED University Ondo Decries...
Last post by Administrator - Nov 28, 2022, 10:18 PM
Following the brain drain issue in the Nigerian health sector, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Medical Services, Ondo, Ondo State, Prof. Adesegun Fatusi, has lamented the insufficiency of graduate nurses across the country.

He noted that many of the trained nurses had left the country for greener pastures in another country.

The don stated this during the second induction of professional nurses who recently graduated from the university. No fewer than 71 of the graduates were inducted into the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria.

He was represented at the occasion by the deputy VC academics, Prof. Roseangela Nwuba.

The VC said, "Well-trained nurses left the country for greener pastures abroad which makes the need for appropriate nursing care reduced across the nation",

Welcoming the inductees, Secretary-Generaleral and Registrar of Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria, Dr Faruk Umar Abubakar lauded the university for working excellently in grooming young nurses, urging the institution to keep the flag flying.

A senior lecturer at Afe Babalola University, Ado Ekiti , Dr Cecilia Bello, said that nurses must continue to recognise the importance of their collaboration with other members of the healthcare team to sustain teamwork in ensuring the best outcomes for patients.

Bello, who is also the guest speaker at the occasion said, "Members of healthcare must take advantage of the variety of knowledge, skills, and abilities available among disciplines, and embrace the attitude that promotes teamwork the for best patient health outcomes."

Innovations / Meet Salima Mukansanga A Nurse...
Last post by Administrator - Nov 13, 2022, 02:28 AM
Rwanda referee Salima Mukansanga is among three women referees named by the world governing body Fifa to officiate at the men's World Cup finals set for Qatar.

The 34-year-old, Mukansanga, who hit the headlines in January when she became the first woman to officiate at the men's 33rd edition of the Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon, has been listed in the final list of 36 which includes other women referees Stephanie Frappart from France and Japan's Yoshimi Yamashita.

It is the first time in the history of the World Cup that women have been listed to officiate in the tournament. Also on the list are three women assistant referees - Neuza Back from Brazil, Mexico's Karen Diaz Medina, and American Kathryn Nesbitt.

During the Afcon tournament, Mukansanga wrote history after she became the first woman to officiate at the finals. Her first assignment was in the Group B contest between Zimbabwe and Guinea which the Warriors beat the Syli Nationale 2-1 at Ahmadou Ahidjo Stadium.
Who is referee Mukansanga?

Born in 1988, Mukansanga is an international football referee, who hails from Rwanda.

According to Rwanda's New Times, Mukansanga, who was raised in Rusizi District, West Province, has a bachelor's degree in Nursing and Midwifery attained from the University of Gitwe, located in Rwanda's South Province, Ruhango District.

Her aspiration while in school was to become a basketball player, but it was never to be because she lacked a lot of basic needs including basketball facilities.

However, she turned her focus to football, and during her final year at St Vincent de Paul Musanze Secondary School, she officiated in a school tournament final game and it is here that her road to football refereeing started.

"I liked basketball, and wanted to take it very seriously, but access to basketball facilities and coaches was hard. That's how I ended up in refereeing, which I have also never regretted. I love it," Mukansanga told New Times during an interview in 2019.
When did she start to climb the ladder?

After one year of learning the basics in refereeing and finishing school, Mukansanga started climbing the ladder step by step by officiating in the men's Second Division league and the women's top-tier league.

She then rose to prominence four years later, as she was promoted to become a Caf licensed referee and it is at this juncture when the door opened and she started officiating in matches across Africa.

But all this happened as she took up the role of assistant referee.According to Rwanda's New Times, Mukansanga, who was raised in Rusizi District, West Province, has a bachelor's degree in Nursing and Midwifery attained from the University of Gitwe, located in Rwanda's South Province, Ruhango District.

Her aspiration while in school was to become a basketball player, but it was never to be because she lacked a lot of basic needs including basketball facilities.

However, she turned her focus to football, and during her final year at St Vincent de Paul Musanze Secondary School, she officiated in a school tournament final game and it is here that her road to football refereeing started.

"I liked basketball, and wanted to take it very seriously, but access to basketball facilities and coaches was hard. That's how I ended up in refereeing, which I have also never regretted. I love it," Mukansanga told New Times during an interview in 2019.
When did she start to climb the ladder?

After one year of learning the basics in refereeing and finishing school, Mukansanga started climbing the ladder step by step by officiating in the men's Second Division league and the women's top-tier league.

She then rose to prominence four years later, as she was promoted to become a Caf licensed referee and it is at this juncture when the door opened and she started officiating in matches across Africa.

But all this happened as she took up the role of assistant referee.

However, in 2004, she was assigned the centre referee, her first time to take up the role during the Caf African Women's Championship battle between Zambia and Tanzania.

"It is because of how I handled that match that I proved my ability to lead matches at any level on the continent. It was an exciting experience. Since that day, I have been trusted to officiate countless international matches in Africa and beyond," she told New Times after officiating in the game.

After the Zambia versus Tanzania game, Mukansanga was now elevated to take up international matches, and her first duty came at the 2015 All-Africa Games in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo.

It is here when she handled the tournament's opener between Nigeria and Tanzania and then she was also in charge of the semi-final battle between Ghana and Ivory Coast.

After the tournament, she returned to Uganda to officiate the 2015 Cecafa Women Challenge Cup in Jinja, Uganda.

Mukansanga continued to rise and in 2016, she was among 47 officials that took charge of the Africa Women Cup of Nations in Cameroon, and she was in control of the final between Cameroon and Nigeria.

Her performance in Cameroon saw her listed to officiate at the U17 Women's World Cup in Uruguay in 2018 and she took charge of the Group A fixture between Uruguay and New Zealand.

Mukansanga was also an official at the 2019 Fifa Women's World Cup in France.

Nursing News / Kenyan Nursing Students to be ...
Last post by Administrator - Nov 12, 2022, 03:29 PM
Hochschule Koblenz University of Applied Sciences from Germany has announced a partnership with a Kenyan university to train and prepare Kenyan nursing students for job opportunities.

 The goal of the project is to prepare 5,000 youths in East Africa for an apprenticeship as a nurse in Germany.

The first batch is students will be trained at Mt Kenya University in partnership with Equip Africa Institute.

Kenyan youths have been invited to apply for the program which includes medical training as well as language proficiency training.

 State nursing councils in Germany require foreign-educated nurses to have German language skills/proficiency before registration.

In November the first batch of 52 students enrolled for the German language training at Mt Kenya University.

Upon completion of the program, the graduates will be offered a guaranteed nursing apprenticeship in partner German hospitals.

 The program seeks to utilise Kenya's top talent and fill the labour gap in Germany, which is projected to reach 500,000 by 2030.

"Given a population of 51.4 million and an annual growth of 2.6%, Kenya has a sufficiently large labour pool. Furthermore, by African standards, the Kenyan educational system is well-advanced," a statement by a German university read.

The university announced that Kenya would serve as a base to expand the program to Tanzania, Rwanda and Uganda.

Source: Pulse News
Nursing News / Concerns Raised As UK Recruits...
Last post by Administrator - Nov 12, 2022, 02:39 PM
A quarter of all new nurses in the UK were trained in poorer countries with more severe staffing shortages, openDemocracy can reveal.

Since 2017, 50,000 of the nurses who registered to practise in the UK were trained in countries that have too few of their own nurses to provide the standard of healthcare recommended by the United Nations.

Once registered, nurses can be employed in the NHS or the private sector. It is likely that the majority join the NHS, with 38,000 new NHS England nurses reporting their nationalities as countries with severe staffing shortages in the past five years – though it is not known where they trained.

This includes thousands of Ghanian, Nigerian and Nepalese nurses, despite the World Health Organization (WHO) discouraging active international recruitment from all three countries.

The UK Department of Health and Social Care denied it has actively recruited nurses from Ghana, though Ghanaian nurses may still have sought NHS jobs. The department did not deny actively hiring Nigerian and Nepalese nurses.

openDemocracy's analysis of data from the Nursing and Midwifery Council and the WHO comes amid a record shortfall of NHS nurses, with 46,828 empty posts in September. Yesterday, nurses in the UK voted to strike after the government refused their request for an above-inflation pay rise.

The number of foreign-trained nurses registering to work in the UK has increased sixfold since the government axed a fund for training NHS nurses in England in 2016. Then-chancellor George Osborne scrapped £800m worth of bursaries that covered the tuition fees and part of the living costs of students training to be nurses.

The move led to a drop in the number of students training to become nurses that recovered only when Boris Johnson partially reversed the cuts by restoring grants for living costs, but not tuition fees, in 2019.

The costs of recruiting a nurse trained abroad are likely between £10,000 to £12,000, far less than the £26,000 it costs the government to train a nurse in the UK, according to analysis by the Nuffield Trust.

James Asamani, a scientist working for the WHO's African regional office, told openDemocracy that workforce migration has contributed to the continent's shortage of 5.3 million health workers.

"The adverse impact is already experienced in some countries such as Zimbabwe, Ghana, and Nigeria, among others, increasing the vulnerabilities of health systems already suffering from low health workforce densities to achieve critical targets," he said.

'Recruiting at the expense of others'

Nurses trained in India and the Philippines make up the majority of foreign-trained new recruits since 2017, both of which are experiencing nursing shortages.

More than 21,000 Indian nurses have registered to practise in the UK – all of whom paid for their training – despite India needing to recruit 4.3 million more nurses by 2024 to make up a growing shortfall. According to the WHO, countries need at least 27.4 nurses per 10,000 people – but India has just 17 per 10,000.

More than 17,000 Filipino nurses have registered to practise in the UK in the past five years – almost 13,00 of whom joined the NHS – despite the Philippine Department of Health facing a shortage of 100,000 nurses.

This is despite the UK government saying it would take "into consideration the national demand for healthcare vis-a-vis the number of healthcare workers in the Philippines" in a memorandum of understanding with the Philippine government in 2021.

More than 5,000 nurses from Ghana, Nigeria, Nepal, Uganda and Pakistan have registered to work in the UK since those countries were placed on the WHO's Health Workforce Support and Safeguards List in 2020. The WHO advises against international recruitment of nurses from countries on the list because they face the most pressing health workforce challenges.

Florence worked as a nurse in Kenya for 12 years before she was recruited to join the NHS in 2020 in the middle of the pandemic.

"[The UK] has been recruiting at the expense of poorer countries," she told openDemocracy. "There are shortages in the countries that we have left behind. But I think in the long run, we are all looking for a better life. And if I could get the money that I am getting at the moment, in my home country, I would have no problem going back."

In February 2021, the government banned the NHS from running recruitment campaigns in countries on the list in its revised code of practice for overseas recruitment. Doctors and nurses from the listed countries can still join the NHS of their own accord.

But the UK government has continued to agree recruitment deals with governments of countries on the list, a practice that is not banned by the WHO. In September it announced a deal to recruit 100 nurses from Nepal – which has 21 nurses per 10,000 people, compared with the UK's 84 per 10,000.

Last week, Labour leader Keir Starmer said the UK is "recruiting too many people from overseas" into the NHS and pledged to take on 7,500 more medical students "from here" under a Labour government.

"Nobody was saying that when we were on the front line during Covid and we were dying. Why didn't he say it then?" Neomi Bennett, the founder of campaign group Equality 4 Black Nurses, told openDemocracy.

She added that the Labour leader's comments were "irresponsible" in the context of rising xenophobia and abuse towards migrant nurses. "We are fighting to keep migrant nurses safe because they're being attacked in their place of work."

A Department of Health and Social Care spokesperson said: "It is misleading to suggest that the UK actively recruits nurses from countries where there is a shortage of nursing staff.

"We updated our Code of Practice for International Recruitment – in line with latest advice from the World Health Organisation – to guarantee the most stringent ethical standards when recruiting health and social care staff from overseas. This code prohibits active recruitment from countries with shortages of nursing staff, and all NHS organisations sign up to this code.

"International recruitment is only one part of our plans to grow the NHS workforce, and the supply of homegrown staff is increasing. The NHS has also reduced spending on agency staff, which has dropped by a third since 2015/16."

Source: Open Democrazy
Nursing News / Nigerian Nurses Demand Immedia...
Last post by Administrator - Nov 09, 2022, 09:34 AM
The National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives, Nasarawa State Chapter wants the state Government to commence immediate payment of hazard allowances to health workers in the state to improve their condition of living.

The State Chairman of the association, Comrade Shawulu Tammah made the call at the 2022 Nurses Week in Lafia.

The Nurses Week brought together nurses and Midwives from the public and private health facilities in the State to engage in series of activities including lectures, workshops and physical exercises as well as identifying some of the major challenges impeding quality health care service delivery.

Nasarawa State Chairman, National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives, Comrade Shawulu Tammah explained that health workers especially nurses work under inadequate care and poor condition of service in the state.

He stressed the need for the state government to focus attention on providing welfare packages for nurses and employ more health workers on regular basis to reduce the constant pressure that they face in the discharge of their duties.

President, National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives, Comrade Micheal Nnachi represented by the Treasurer of the Association Comrade Laraba Lenka stated that most nurses were at the receiving end of the COVID-19 pandemic in the course of performing their duties hence the need to initiate special recovery incentives to boost their morale.

The Nasarawa State Governor Abdullahi Sule, represented by the state commissioner for health, Mr Ahmed Yahaya noted that the state government would continue to give prominent attention to the health sector.

The theme for the 2022 nurses week is ''Nurses, a voice to lead, invest in nursing and respect rights to secure global health".

Source: Radio Nigeria
Nursing News / Saskatchewan Health Minister I...
Last post by Administrator - Nov 08, 2022, 09:14 AM
Today, Minister of Health Paul Merriman announced the Government of Saskatchewan will undertake a targeted health care recruitment mission to Manila, Philippines in late November to actively promote Saskatchewan's health care employment opportunities.

"With a vibrant and growing Filipino-Canadian population, Saskatchewan has a strong and meaningful relationship with the Philippines. With the cooperation and support of the Consul General of the Philippines to Canada, Mr. Zaldy Patron, this mission will allow us to engage directly with Filipino health care workers and attract them to the province," Merriman said. "This initiative is one of the ways our government is delivering on our commitment to attract hundreds of additional health care workers to our friendly Saskatchewan communities which are eager to welcome them."

Beginning November 28, a series of workshops and information sessions will be hosted over five days in Manila by Saskatchewan's delegation which includes Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) representatives who will interview on-site. Minister Merriman will lead the delegation and participate in targeted meetings with key officials from a number of partner agencies to reinforce the province's important relationship with the Philippines and explore innovative opportunities to strengthen the partnership.

Saskatchewan has announced intentions to recruit hundreds of new health care workers from abroad. While in Manila, the focus will be on recruitment of qualified health care workers including registered nurses, continuing care assistants and other high priority professions. 

"Our province has experienced success in welcoming Filipino nurses and other health care workers into our workforce and our communities," Minister of Mental Health and Addictions, Seniors and Rural and Remote Health Everett Hindley said. "Saskatchewan is now home to a large and thriving Filipino community. We're already generating a lot of interest from the Philippines in the available health care jobs the province is currently looking to fill. We offer various incentives, settlement support and assistance to spouses in finding employment in the province."

The mission will advance long-term collaboration and exchanges between Saskatchewan and Philippine post-secondary institutions on curriculum, alignment of nurse training programs and the development of pathways to fast-track Filipino health sciences graduates into the Saskatchewan labour market. Minister Merriman will be joined on the mission by representatives from Saskatchewan's two universities and Saskatchewan Polytechnic.

An interactive web page,, is targeted to a Philippine audience with the details of the mission, registration for information and recruitment events in Manila, as well as upcoming webinars and other online tools and resources.

Saskatchewan's HHR Action Plan announced in September will invest over $60 million and add more than 1,000 health professionals into the health system over the next few years.

Details on health care opportunities, how to access them and more information on province's Health Human Resources Action Plan are available at a dedicated website

The session will hold in Manila from November 28 to December 1. To complete the application go to
Nursing News / Senate Bill 1447 Philippine Nu...
Last post by Administrator - Nov 08, 2022, 09:10 AM
 Increasing the ranks of well-trained and better compensated nurses will play a vital role in achieving a more efficient access to universal healthcare for every Filipino, Sen. Francis Tolentino said in filing a measure proposing a comprehensive nursing law.

Tolentino has filed Senate Bill 1447 or the proposed Philippine Nursing Practice Act of 2022. It introduces a new provision on the Advanced Practice Nurse (APN), which he said would be the "prime mover" of the nursing profession in relation to the Universal HealthCare Law.

"This will give qualified nurses expanded and collaborative roles that will aid in the delivery of a comprehensive healthcare service to Filipinos," the bill's explanatory note read.

Under the bill, an APN refers to a nurse "who has acquired substantial level of theoretical knowledge and decision-making skill in a specialty area of nursing practice and demonstrated proficiency in clinical utilization of such knowledge in providing expanded and collaborative expert care" from a recognized higher educational institution, aside from being a board passer.

The measure authorizes the practice of the "Agreed Upon Based Care," a mutually agreed upon patient care made by an APN and approved by the primary physician in charge, through teleconsult or other means of communication, after evaluation of the case referred, but limited only to circumstances "during an emergency" such as the absence of a physician in the area to physically assess the patient, or lack of an available doctor due to inaccessibility of the area.

The bill also seeks to provide improvements in the practice of the nursing profession by instituting measures to promote comprehensive and relevant nursing practice standards, ensure decent working conditions and support the professional growth of nurses.

Source: Philstar
Nursing News / 310,000 Filipino Nurses Are Wo...
Last post by Administrator - Nov 07, 2022, 05:54 PM
More Filipino nurses, attracted by higher salaries abroad, are set to leave their country as coronavirus border controls ease and hiring becomes more aggressive, putting the Philippines in a tight spot in dealing with its own shortage of health care workers.

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. in September said he wants to increase the cap on the number of nurses allowed to go abroad annually from the current 7,500, but that the government at the same time must strive "to improve opportunities domestically."

The cap is a policy the Philippines implemented in 2020 to retain enough nurses to fight the pandemic at home. It has since been eased in stages.

Philippine nurses fluent in English are in high demand overseas. As of the end of 2021, over 310,000 of more than 910,000 registered nurses in the Philippines were working abroad, according to an advocacy group called Filipino Nurses United and the Health Department.

Between 13,000 and 22,000 nurses had previously migrated annually to more developed countries, such as Australia, Britain, Germany, Japan, Saudi Arabia and the United States, where they could earn significantly more.

In 2020 and 2021, following the introduction of the cap, the combined number of nurses who sought employment abroad decreased to 16,391. And yet, the Health Department said in September that the Philippines still lacked over 100,000 nurses.

Philippine Nurses Association president Melvin Miranda said low salary and poor working conditions had been an issue for so long but became more apparent during the pandemic as hospitals saw a high turnover of nurses.

Miranda said Filipino nurses continue to be the lowest paid with a monthly salary of $687, compared with their peers in other Southeast Asian countries like Vietnam ($1,083) and Singapore ($4,058) based on a 2020 study by data aggregator iPrice Group.

The nurses association is pushing to amend the 20-year-old nursing law and standardize nurses' wages and benefits, like overtime and hazard pay. Miranda said the Philippines might not be able to match the rates in Singapore or in the United States, but it somehow needs to catch up.

To dialysis nurse Kristine Joyce Barruga, 31, a salary "four to five times higher" and better working conditions were her reasons for leaving Manila in October.

"The pandemic was one of the reasons I felt strongly about going to the U.K.," she said. "We worked 16 hours straight wearing the PPE because we were understaffed. There was no public transportation (so) some of us had to stay in the hospital for weeks. I love what I do but that was just exhausting."

Filipino nurses are in demand in countries with an aging workforce, said Elnora Villafana, a service recruiter in Manila. She said they expect the nurse outflow to increase, as she also observes hospitals, specifically in the United States, becoming more competitive by paying for the licensing exams of the nurses and by dangling immigrant visas.

Nurses in the United States can make $70,000 per year.

In countries like Japan and Germany, an additional year of language training discourages some nurse applicants, another recruiter Marivic Ochoa said.

But not Jan Yago, a junior nursing student and an anime fan. He plans on moving to Japan right after gaining two years of clinical work experience, which is a requirement in every foreign country.

"The pay (in the Philippines) is quite dismal," Yago said. "I'd like to go to Japan, but once I have enough savings to support myself and my family, I'll come back to the Philippines," he said.

Source: Kyodo News