Finland will soon be welcoming another wave of nurses from abroad — this time from the Philippines. With unemployment rife among nursing professionals in the Philippines, many are looking to find greener pastures abroad. So far about 100 of them have been lucky enough to find work in Finland.
Francois Neil Dantes is just one of a group of nurses preparing to come to Finland assuage the labour shortage in the health care sector.
Like others before them, these nurses have participated in an intensive language training programme to ensure that they can integrate into Finnish professional life.
There are currently about half a million jobless nursing professionals in the Philippines. Many of them are even prepared to pay hospitals for the opportunity to gain much needed experience.
Greener pastures abroad
More than 10 million Filipinos have left their country looking for greener pastures elsewhere. They represent one tenth of the population.
They are also the bedrock of the economy: last year they sent home more than 15 billion euros in remittances. Without these transfers, the economy would collapse.
Francois Neil Dantes and others like him also want to help their families at home. Their earnings abroad can help siblings go to school and fund daily expenses.
Ironically, in spite of the glut of skilled workers like Dantes, Filipino authorities are struggling to provide basic health care for the majority of citizens.
Spanish workers report for duty
On Monday a group of 14 of Spanish nurses reported for duty in the Satakunta region of western Finland. They have been deployed in the private and public sectors, performing auxiliary nursing tasks in care homes.
With about quarter of the population unemployed in Spain, many young adults have begun to look abroad for job opportunities.
In the last nursing recruitment drive in Spain, Finnish municipal authorities received more than 2,000 applications.