Loading in 2 Seconds...
Loading in 2 Seconds...
Australia has exported jobs to the Philippines through the call center market. Australia now in the middle of a aged care and health workforce crisis, could bring in workers from the Philippines to resolve the crisis and benefit both countries and continue on the long relationship spanning over 70 years.\n\nSource: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/australian-companies-offshore-call-centres-why-onshore-hoskins/
Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.
Centres to the Philippines: Why not
Onshore Their Healthcare Workers to
Resolve Our Worker Shortage Crisis?
The Philippines began speaking English at the turn of the 20th century after the
Philippine-American War. Now the nation is bilingual with both English and
Filipino as official languages for communication and instruction. Read more
here. Filipinos speak a variety of English similar to American English. At school
English is taught as one of the two official languages right from the beginning.
English is the language of instruction in higher education and highly technical
subjects such as nursing, medicine, computing, mathematics, engineering and
sciences are all taught in English. English is therefore used in religious affairs,
print and broadcast media, the law, the courts and business. As a result, most
Filipinos are bilingual and speak English as one of their languages.
As a matter of fact, the Philippines is the fourth largest English speaking
country in the world after the United States, India and Pakistan (in terms of
population). A 2008 survey conducted by a US entity known as Promoting
English Proficiency (PEP) found that 76% of Filipinos understood English, 75%
read English, 61% could write in English, 46% could speak English and 38%
claimed to think in English. This is the reason why Australian companies like
TPG and many others have been off-shoring call centres to the Philippines for
The Philippines produces some of the best qualified nurses, who are taught in
English and their level of training is aligned to international standards. To
become a registered nurse a trainee must pass a multitude of exams that are
similar to those set in the UK and the USA. Those are very high standards.
Did you know that the Philippines exports nurses (and other professionals)
internationally because it has too few jobs? Yes, the Philippines is the largest
exporter of nurses to the USA, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, the
Netherlands, Ireland and other markets. This is the result of the Philippine
government’s strategy in the 1970s (under Ferdinand Marcos) to export
contract labour to beat unemployment and its balance of payments crisis. In
2013 alone 1.8 million migrant workers including nurses, were exported to
more than 190 countries. Skills export provides much needed foreign currency
income which rose from US$291 million in 1978 to US$10.7 billion in 2005
(Tarriela 2006). Most of this is contributed by nurses who make up the largest
group of professional workers abroad.
The growing demand for nurses in the Philippines and abroad has created a
rapidly growing nursing education sector. Right now there are about 460
nursing colleges that offer the Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) program
and graduate approximately 20,000 nurses annually (CHED 2006). Because the
Philippines’ own demand is not growing, they produce a net surplus of
registered nurses every year.
Considering the shortage of nurses in Australia, we too can import nurses from
the Philippines where there is a surplus. To migrate to Australia they must pass
IELTS at 7 or above. The International English Language Testing System, IELTS,
is an international standardised test of English language proficiency for people
who speak English as a second language. It is one of the major English language
tests in the world, accepted by most Australian, British, New Zealand and
Canadian academic institutions and by various professional organisations
across the world. It is required for immigration to Australia and New Zealand.
Passing IELTS at band 7 means one is a good user of the English language, 8
means one is a very good user while 9 means one is an expert user. Because
Filipinos learn the English language from primary school up to tertiary level
and use the language every day at work, they will not have problems passing
the IELTS. Let us not limit our use of the skills available in the Philippines only
to call centres. Let us get the nurses here too.
Australia can easily become a competitive destination for nurses. What is
happening is that when Filipinos go to some countries, instead of working in
hospitals as nurses they are forced to work as 24-hour domestic workers who
clean, cook and care for children, the disabled and the elderly in the homes of
the rich. Others are forced to work for nursing agencies which take part of their
earnings as commission. That is exploitation, something that the nurses do not
expect because they are promised hospital jobs. In some other countries
especially in the Middle East, promises of salaries, affordable housing costs and
free tickets turn out to be false. There is contract substitution where the nurses
are asked to sign new contracts with less pay and more work including
domestic duties. Filipino nurses are being abused! Read more… As we speak, on
February 13, 2018, the president of the Philippines called for the repatriation of
all Filipinos working in Kuwaiti because of stories of abuse and the discovery of
the dead bodies of Filipinos abused in Kuwaiti.
Australia can do better than that! Here is an opportunity to offer lucrative
contracts to people who are unhappy where they are working. If we can offer
the nurses better working conditions and provide those working conditions
that they sign up for, we will attract the nurses from the countries where they
are being abused. We can place them in all the hospitals and clinics where
shortages exist and make sure that they have good working and living
Our shortage of manpower is not limited to nurses. We are experiencing
shortages in the whole of the healthcare industry. Already the rollout of the
NDIS is experiencing shortages of allied healthcare professionals in some areas.
Demand for care givers for the aged is growing as well in Australia. The
population of aged people is growing because life expectancy improved greatly
in the last 60 years or so. The aging population, which is growing steadily, also
suffers from chronic diseases and disabilities which demand special care. We
need an increasing number of care givers for the disabled and the aging and it
is difficult for our nation to train them fast enough.
The solution for the growing demand for care givers may lie in the Philippines.
We can make bilateral agreements with the Philippines whereby we provide
Australian training for the aged and the disabled and then import the graduates
to come and work in Australia. Already such an arrangement exists at
institution level. Certificate III in Aged Care at Charlton Brown Partner
Institutions in the Philippines is an Australian qualification that trains people
to become Assistant to Nursing, Personal Care Assistant, Community Support
Worker or Home Care Assistant. The theoretical component is offered in the
Philippines. Then the students come to Australia to further their studies (on the
job training) in the Community Service Sector under Subclass 572 Visa. They
receive the Certificate III in Aged Care upon completing both the theoretical
and practical components of the course.
Knowing about the growing demand for disability and aged care, the
government can offer training to Filipinos via their own colleges in the
Philippines, then import the graduates to come and work with the disabled and
the aged. As long as Australia provides good working conditions, they can
retain most of these workers for many years.
Training and importing care givers is not the only alternative. We can take
advantage of the growing trend in nursing care tourism. It is not yet advanced
in the Philippines but it is well established in Thailand. Rich western countries
send their aged to homes in the Far East to countries like Thailand and the
Philippines that cost half the cost that they pay in their country per month.
Besides the lower cost that stretches family savings longer, the destination
countries offer warmer climates that are good for health. Americans are
sending their elderly to South America for the same reason. We can consider
nursing care tourism as an alternative too. Then we do not spend money on
training care givers or employing them; we simply pay monthly care fees at the
partner homes in the Philippines.
It is true that Australia is already suffering from a shortage of healthcare
workers and that demand for healthcare workers is increasing every year.
Australia can forge relationships with the Philippine government and create a
bilateral agreement in which Filipino nurses can get work permits to work in
Australia. Right now is the best time to do it since the Philippine government
has put a ban on Filipinos working in Kuwaiti. The agreement between Australia
and the Philippines can extend to the training of care workers who can then get
work permits in Australia. Not to be ignored is nursing tourism where we can
send our elderly people who need frail care to live in nursing homes in the
Philippines at a much lower cost per month than is charged by domestic
nursing homes. Imagine the impact on our healthcare budget!