Saturday, April 25, 2009

PhotoHunt: Protect(ion)




This is an elevated covered walkway running perpendicular to a busy thoroughfare in Cotabato City, meant to protect both pedestrians and motor vehicle drivers plying this route. It also doubles as an area for hanging streamers and posters of congratulations to successful examinees from the city who passed the licensure examinations for physicians and nurses just released a few days before this photo was taken.

It's a poignant reminder on how many a Filipino family's hopes are pinned on college education. College education- which can lead to good employment- is their family's protection. And recently, with the Philippines having "exported" some 50,000 nurses in the last decade alone, having a licensed nurse in the family is almost like manna from heaven. Imagine, a Filipino nurse working in the country maybe earning roughly USD 200 per month, while s/he can earn something like at least 10 times that outside the country. To sweeten the pot, with the employment there also comes the chance to emigrate with his/her entire family. It seems like a no-brainer. To make matters worse, some 9,000 Filipino physicians are training or already have trained to become nurses, with a great number already employed in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, among other countries. Hospitals are being closed due to the absence of doctors who will run them and go on duty in them.

All this is happening in our country where 7 out of 10 Filipinos die without ever being attended to by a health professional.

So who's taking care of us left behind here?

I pray it will be those whose names are plastered on this elevated walkway...

To work in another country to feed your family or to stay in the country in service of your fellow Filipinos? It's not really a no-brainer, is it?

10 comments:

  1. Spending time in hospital last month, I was cared for by several nurses from teh Philippines. It is sad that they have to move abroad to earn decent money but my parents did much the same in leaving Ireland back in the 40s. Happy weekend

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  2. This is a really sad situation you describe. I hope it will balance out in the end, but you are right - the drain of doctors and nurses is unbearable for Philippines.

    Have a great weekend!

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  3. Really sad! The government needs to take a look at this rather than their pockets.

    Nice choice for this week's theme. happy weekend!
    Mine is here.

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  4. It's too bad that even before the nurses and other health professionals work abroad they will spend tens of thousands of pesos and we all know that most of them are not capable to spend that much.

    Regarding those streamers, I consider them as eye sore and useless pieces of textile. They should not post those personal messages in government properties.

    Lastly, the seat sale of PAL on April 27 is really the talk of the town these days. From radio shows, newspapers and even on tv I can hear the mechanics of the promo. Sayang wala akong U.S. visa para man lang makita ko Honolulu man lang :)

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  5. Wow, interesting picture and poignant story. Hopefully things will get better in the Philippines and more nurses and doctors will want to stay. I live in Hawaii and I just heard on the news the other night that we no longer have a nursing shortage. Maybe that will cause more people to stay in the Philippines.

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  6. There r many Filipinos flocking to work in Singapore which, I understand from a local nurse friend, the former use as a stepping stone to head over to USA, Australia and UK. Sad truth propelled by economic difficulties.

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  7. i always get puzzled looks whenever i say that i intend to go back to the philippines and work there. it'crazy, they say. i counter that i have simple needs and those can be met with the kind of salary i get there. and that i guess applies more to doctors. so why the diaspora still?

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  8. I am a nurse by profession and currently applying for a job overseas. I used to work in a government-tertiary hospital for almost a year then decided to resign from my job. My reason? Low salary that doesn't fit with my workloads (one nurse for every 60-120 patients depending on the ward) and the needed benefits which wasn't given for contractual nurses such as hazard pay. Even my former co-workers are planning to quit from their job.

    This problem was already addressed to the government many years ago but, sad to say, they aren't still doing something about it.

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  9. A very intersting reality check post.
    Unfortunatley your country is not the only country suffering in that way.
    America and Canada are also on the list of desperate and untreated people. Is it going to get better with the way the Government is handling things...I doubt it. It is going to be difficult for local people to get work if the health care systm returns to caring about the people instead of the profit margins!

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  10. nice interpretation of the photohunt theme :)

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