According to a health worker migration case study by Lorenzo et al. 2007 commissioned by the International Labor Organization, 85% of Filipino nurses are working outside the country. Among the top migration destinations preferred by Filipino nurses are the United States, United Kingdom, and the Middle East. In recent years, other markets have emerged and opened for nurses including Australia.
Australia’s Department of Immigration and Border Protection has recorded a total of 2,457 Filipino nurse migrants to Australia from 2010-2014, who were either sponsored by employers or gained permanent residency through Points Tested Skilled Migration. There is an even higher number of Filipino registered nurses arriving in Australia as international students enrolled in vocational or higher education courses, with hopes of becoming permanent residents soon.
Story Angle and Subjects
My feature news article aims to tell the story of Filipino nurses in Australia by discovering why they decided to leave their home country even if it means being far away from their loved ones.
I plan to start my news article by telling the story of two Filipino nurses I know here in Australia, Katrina Entrampas and Camille Pingul. Both are Registered Nurses in the Philippines who decided to apply for an Australian student visa to be able to work their way to gaining permanent residency.
I would like to humanize the crisis of the migration of health professionals in the Philippines by focusing on their life stories. I will ask them about their past experiences in the Philippines, why they decided to leave, and why they chose to seek employment in Australia. I would also feature how they adjusted to the Australian lifestyle, the challenges that they encountered in the country, and how they manage to finance their living expenses and tuition fees that are priced at a much higher rate compared to local student fees.
After using a micro-approach to the stories of Ms Entrampas and Ms Pingul, researches about the current minimum wage for nurses in the Philippines will then be quoted from the data of the Department of Labor and Employment and Philippine Executive Orders. Aside from current wages, work scenarios of nurses in the Philippines will be looked into, such as the existing nurse-to-patient ratio. There are several case studies that can be used as references to describe the impact of nurse migration in the Philippines such as that of Lorenzo et al. 2005 entitled ‘Nurse Migration from a Source Country Perspective: Philippine Country Case Study’ and Short et al. 2012’s ‘‘Filipino nurses down under’: Filipino nurses in Australia.’
Lorenzo et al. cited push and pull factors for the migration of Filipino nurses and stated that this has depleted the pool of skilled and experienced health workers in the Philippine health care system. They also cited a report from the Philippine Hospital Association in 2005 stating that 200 hospitals have closed due to shortages of doctors and nurses, while 800 hospitals have partially closed for the same reason.
Target Publication and Implications to Australian Audience
This news story will be of significance to Australian online publications such as ABC News, Sydney Morning Herald, or The Australian because it can answer two key questions that are relevant to the Australian audience. The first question asks, “Will the ongoing migration of Filipino nurses to Australia help solve the predicted shortage of nurses in Australia?” According to a report from Health Workforce Australia in 2012, the country will face a shortage of 109,000 nurses by 2025.
The second question that this topic can produce is “Will local Australian nurses fear their job security if a huge number of migrant nurses are employed in the country?”
This feature article will challenge policy makers to create a mutually beneficial relationship between both health systems in Australia and the Philippines to ensure that overseas recruitment of nurses will be done in a sustainable manner without resulting to a ‘brain drain’ in the source country.
Patricia Andrea Patena
Word Count: 643 words
- Bordergovau.(2016). Bordergovau. Retrieved 23 April, 2016, from https://www.border.gov.au/about/reports-publications/research-statistics/statistics/live-in-australia/country-profiles/republic-of-the-philippines
- Lorenzo FME, et al. (2007). Nurse migration from a source country perspective: Philippine country case study.
- Short et al. (2012). ‘Filipino nurses down under’: Filipino nurses in Australia