Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Philippine Nurses

The Philippines just got sixteen thousand more nurses. That’s how many passed the recent licensing exams, out of almost 38,000 who took the test.

A few observations, based on this article:

That’s a horrible success rate. It would be nice to think that the reason fewer than half pass is because the tests are so tough and the standards so high. Unfortunately, it is more likely due to the wretched quality of Philippine higher education – most colleges here are diploma mills, with the largest ones owned by the country’s richest families and thus (just like Cebu Pacific Airlines) not subject to any meaningful regulation or oversight.

As the article notes, the job prospects for these graduates are grim, and the pay is not all that great if they get a job. On an expat forum I frequent (where I came across this article), one of the other expats said that his step-daughter’s nursing degree cost him P600,000 (about $15,000). While that’s cheap by American standards, it’s a hell of a lot here. And the step-daughter’s salary five years after graduation? P14,000/month (about $350). He considers that a pretty poor ROI (and I agree).

Look at those nurse:patient ratios:
Citing official data, Dakis said the ratio stands at 1:25 for the Philippine General Hospital. Hospitals in other areas have more dismal figures, such as 1:45 in Davao del Sur.
Holy cow! The ratio should be around 1:4. No wonder most Philippine families do their own nursing when a family member is in the hospital.

But don't worry -- they’re going to pass a law.
Dakis however said the ratio is among the key issues that will be addressed by amendments to the Nursing Law, which he believes will be filed anew in the 16th Congress.
That’ll fix it.

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