Bu-lat-lat (boo-lat-lat) verb: to search, probe, investigate, inquire; to unearth facts
Volume 3, Number 27 August 10 - 16, 2003 Quezon City, Philippines
critical nursing shortage
Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Canada fear that the Canadian government’s plan to hire a company for hospital housekeeping services would force as many as 1,500 hospital employees, most of them Filipinos, out of their jobs.
AUBREY SC MAKILAN
According to SIKLAB, an overseas Filipino workers’ organization based in British Columbia (BC), about 850 to 1,500 Hospital Employees’ Union members would reportedly lose their jobs if the services are contracted out.
In a statement last week, SIKLAB revealed the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority’s recent move to contract out housekeeping services to Aramark Canada Ltd., a subsidiary of a United States-based company.
In a statement, SIKLAB said “this latest attack on workers is another indication of the widening privatization drive of the Canadian healthcare system.”
group claimed that contracting out victimizes immigrant workers, especially
comprise a big chunk of the immigrants who work in Canada as cheap laborers and
have struggled for a more stable employment for years now¾are
often among the first ones to be laid off.
Cagas of SIKLAB asserted that this condition shows the “deepening economic
segregation of the Filipino community.” “Not only are they losing jobs
critical to their families’ very survival, the community will also suffer
under a privatized and less accessible health care system,” she said.
Parlan, also of SIKLAB, reported that in the past month, laundry workers, care
aides and housekeepers have been the victims of the privatization drive that is
part of globalization.
noted that privatization “results in more profit for private companies as they
hire new workers for less wages and little or no benefits.”
a main source of cheap labor in Canada, Filipino workers will continue to face
further exploitation under globalization,” Parlan added.
vowed to continue to “educate, organize and mobilize the Filipino community
and other workers to be conscious of the detrimental impacts of privatization
and resist the profit-driven agenda” of globalization.”
a recent study by the Canadian Institute for Health Information highlighted the
“intensification of the critical nationwide nursing shortage” in Canada.
study shows that BC can expect a 32 percent decrease in the number of nurses
while Ontario can expect 28 percent, in just three years. This is based on the
current pace of nurses’ retirement at the age of 55.
wide gap between the number of retirees and new nursing graduates entering the
workforce is another factor. This year, there are only 4,900 nursing graduates
in Canada compared to 10,000 in 1990.
these, said the Canada-based Filipino Nurses Support Group (FNSG) in a
statement, Filipinos who provide valuable nursing services are discriminated
immediate recognition of nursing education and experience which will fully value
the skills of Filipino and other foreign-trained nurses remains ignored, only to
be discriminated against by government and nursing institutions as a viable
solution to the ongoing crisis,” observed FNSG.
does not acknowledge the professional skills of Filipino nurses who come into
the country as immigrant workers. They are treated simply as “temporary
workers who care for the children, elderly, and people with disabilities of
Canadian families who can afford to pay for private, live-in care and
from the Philippines seek jobs in Canada under the only practical option¾the
Live-In Caregiver Program (LCP). Unlike those with permanent immigrant status
who came to Canada in the 1960s and 1970s, Filipino nurses today under the LCP
“must work as 24-hour nannies and home support workers, not as nurses.”
said that the temporary status of Filipino nurses made them vulnerable to de-skilling,
exploitation, and abuse.
with nursing diplomas acquired in the Philippines and having years of nursing
work experience, Filipino nurses find it extremely difficult to be accredited as
nurses in Canada.
According to FNSG, of over 500 Filipino nurses in BC seeking to practice nursing only about 125 work as fulltime nurses. Bulatlat.com