By James A. Loyola
St. Luke’s Medical Center has signed a partnership agreement with overseas employment agency Resource Finder Ltd. for the training and deployment of its nurses to the United Kingdom.
In an interview, St. Luke’s President Arturo De La Peña, M.D. said “this landmark partnership aims to provide the nurses of the St. Luke’s Medical Center a better chance to work in the United Kingdom as healthcare professionals.”
He added that, while this will not generate revenues for SLMC, the program will strengthen the nurse retention program of the hospital “by being directly involved in the management of the migration process of its nurses.”
De La Peña explained that, under the program, their nurses will have to work for SLMC for three years before they can be deployed instead of the usual two-year training required of nurses who want to work overseas.
This will ensure that the hospital will have a steady supply of new nurses even as those who are already trained are leaving for greener pastures overseas.
“You cannot prevent them from leaving anyway. The difference in salary is so big,” he explained noting that their nurses earn about P35,000 a month — already high among local hospitals — but the pay overseas can range from P100,000 to P200,000 a month.
Since the program will ensure nurses that their deployment if through a legitimate channel and since the UK is one of the most desired countries for Filipino nurses, De La Peña said this program will also allow them to attract the best nurses.
He explained that, St. Luke’s will serve as a “pathway” for nurses planning to work in the UK so they do not fall prey to illegal recruiters.
“There’s a huge demand for nurses abroad, specifically in the UK. They need about 20,000 plus nurses because the supply of nurses there is low so they are recruiting from other countries,” De la Peña said.