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Overworked And Underpaid

  1. Hello everyone.

    I just registered to allnurses.com and have been going through the
    threads in the Filipino Forum, being, of course, a Filipino nurse.

    After going through several threads, I found out that as usual,
    there are no complaints regarding how much the nurses in the
    Philippines are getting.

    As usual, most of the threads are about going abroad. It's ok to
    post threads on going abroad, but why aren't there any threads about
    the salaries that the nurses receive in Philippine hospitals?


    Why should Filipino nurses in a hospital setting in the Philippines
    STOP complaining about their salary? I'm sure, UNTIL NOW, they are
    not getting enough. I used to work in a private hospital in Cebu
    City in the mid 90s and they were giving me below basic. OVERWORKED
    AND UNDERPAID. I got out after almost a year and went to work in
    Manila and worked in sales.

    Now, I have my own business and I still see the disappointment I
    felt years back, in nurses that I have come to know who are still
    working in the Philippines. Some nurses in the Philippines are
    getting salaries slightly higher than that of a foreman in a
    construction site...a construction for a house, mind you, not a
    building. And some get lower than what carpenters get on a daily
    basis. I'm sorry if this is my comparison, but I needed one.

    IT IS NOT CHEAP TO GET A NURSING DEGREE. And it is hard work to get
    the degree. But in the Philippines, some nurses are still getting
    below the basic salary mandated by the law. Let me rephrase


    Why aren't the officers of the PHILIPPINE NURSES ASSOCIATION or the
    for the salaries of their members throughout the Philippines?

    I have attended too many nursing conventions in the Philippines,
    that, really, costs so much, and really is a lot of crap. They talk
    about a lot of things, but nothing that is of importance. They
    should start talking about how to get a salary increase in a
    hospital in the Philippines. They should start talking to hospitals
    and think of ways to increase the salaries of everyone in the
    nursing service.

    I want to understand what the PNA and the ORNAP is for. I am a
    member of both organizations and have yet to see them do something
    for their members aside from collecting annual dues, selling bingo
    tickets and soliciting for something or the other.

    The way I see it, in a hospital setting in the Philippines, the
    higher you go up the heirarchy of positions, the bigger your salary,
    the closer you get to the administration, the lesser your complaints
    are, if at all you have any, regarding salaries.

    Supervisors and Nursing Directors take the side of the
    administration with regards to salaries and wages of the nursing


    A lot of why's that will probably remain unanswered.

    And the exodus continues.
  2. Visit bakaldude profile page

    About bakaldude

    Joined: Feb '07; Posts: 5; Likes: 4


  3. by   lawrence01
    Honestly, people are tired of discussing the salary issue as nothing has been done to address it for decades and people just gave up on hoping that it will ever be addressed that is why Filipino nurses has been working abroad for decades.
  4. by   bakaldude
    outside of forums such as this one, outside of meetings, seminars and conventions, it is frequently the topic.

    but they never talk about it in open forums anywhere.

    you are right. people got tired of discussing it knowing that nothing will happen.

    besides, there's an easier alternative. although there truly is nothing easy about leaving a family behind and spending more money on exams.

    but it doesn't mean people should accept it as it is.

    maybe things will change here in our country. but then again, maybe everyone will stop using fossil fuel.
  5. by   loryn
    Asked the same question and took some time before I got my answer. Its not even connected with politics.

    I have 7 Aunts who took up Nursing as a profession as early as 80's and I can proudly say that they are no where here in the Philippines since 1990 and are living in financially stable life as of now in the US.

    Why can anyone of us accept the reality that the Philippines is not the best industry for Nurses despite the attempts of many past governments?

    If you analyze deeper, its more beneficial for our economy to deploy nurses out of the country for 3 reasons: Remittances ,Jobs and Benefits.

    Remittances: Overseas Contract workers such as nurses and other professions are among the major sources of funding for the country. Last year alone, almost US$10 Billion was sent to the Philippines by our so called "Bagong Bayani (New Heroes)" based on POEA website.

    Jobs: Our country produce close to 40,000 registered nurses every year but there is not enough job for them. If you ask those nursing students today, you will find out that most of them if not all chose such course so they can work abroad.

    Benefits: Even if you raise the salary of nurses here say like 200%, other countries offer more than 20x what you are earning with complete benefits not only to themselves but also to their families as well.

    Now, if our government can provide all of the above, then we can all opt to stay in one roof.

    Just my 2 cents

  6. by   bakaldude
    the question still remains unanswered


    why should you accept it?

    why should the government rely on remittances from overseas contract workers? the $10B did not come solely from nurses. there are lots of others working abroad. besides, everyone knows where the money goes. it's election time. no matter how much the overseas filipino worker remits, it will always end up in the pockets of our government officials one way or the other. do you really think it ends up in our health care budget?

    it's really not a solution, is it? it's a quick fix to a deeper problem.

    i'm sure all the nursing students now and the new graduates have the dream of working abroad because of a better life for their families.

    i am not here to take that dream away from them or from anybody. we all dream of a better life and we follow that dream.

    i have been working professionally as a nurse since the later part of the 80s. the big boom for the nursing exodus. i chose to stay...in another field with better pay

    i've seen nurses come and go.

    maybe we never cared about it enough to discuss it in open forums because we never saw it as a problem.

    i don't care how the philippine government sees it...their all a bunch of morons who bought their way into office with our money anyway. they just show you they care so they can get your vote.

    i want to know if you see it as a problem. because the majority does not.

    and it is.
  7. by   lawrence01
    It's a problem. No body is denying that and no one is accepting that it should be that way but people also accepted that it would be economically impossible to do so. Everyone wants higher wages, from nurses to doctors and others not in the HC industry but is it in reality possible to give higher wages to everyone if we are just an "emerging market". It is impossible and the Gov't also knows these that's why instead of preventing workers to go abroad they even encourage them to go.

    Why would the Gov't prevent someone to work abroad to earn money for himself and for his family in the Phils. and prevent them from giving remittances w/c the Gov't needs as well. Everyone benefits from people working abroad instead of letting them rot here w/ low wages. The Gov't knows they can't help them so why prevent them from helping themselves w/c in turn the Gov't gets a windfall from their remittances w/c is much higher than would any tax coming from any worker working in the Phils. It's win-win situation for everyone.

    There will come a time when the Phils. will be a 1st world country and can afford to give higher wages and better insurance, benefits, etc... but until that time comes it is better off that the Gov't let the people help themselves .

    This migration phenomenon is a natural process and all countries have migrants for the same reason. America is built on immigrants from around the world and still continues to accept migrants. The true Americans are the Indian-Americans.
  8. by   RNHawaii34
    it is really ironic how we filipinos grumbles about how small the nurses in the philippines are getting paid...but i remember when i was working as a nurse assistant in another hospital here in the u.s., many rns are complaining how hard the job was,how crappy the work environment, or how small their paycheck was...i am sure they are making at least $1500 every two weeks!! it makes me cringe when they complained about it and yet they get paid more than i did..what's my point? i guess where ever we go, there is always something to complain about..although i have never work in the philippines, i can't imagine how the nurses make it everymonth...yes, i beleive getting our bsn is very expensive..and it's a shame that in our own country, nurses are underpaid. thats why i really give a credit for those who wanted to get out....i am a new rn, and i am aware that i don't get paid well enough for my hardwork, but i can't complain now because i really love what i do, and the people i work with, and the people that i care for...right now? if i was in the philippines? i too, myself, will do anything to find a job outside the country, just like everybody else...i firmly beleive that people should strive more, to get a better life, and don't rely on those people sitting in malacanang palace..we should also try to stop feeling sorry for ourselves, and think positive instead..remember, sabi nila, " you are the captain or your ship"....so you know what's best for you. sorry, i am getting kinda off topic here :roll
  9. by   loryn
    Filipinos are tired of waiting for our government to act on these long overdue issues that our country have faced over the past 3 decades.

    Since an option has presented itself, we have embraced the reality that nurses are indeed bound to work elsewhere other than here. Thus I can safely say that only few can stand up and fight their own rights.

    For me, one major reason why I plan to migrate is that I'm sick and tired of the way politics here in the Philippines. Don't you think its about time we change our course and live our life the way we want too?

    Its not a question of choice but more of a hope for us.

  10. by   purplecotton
    Without a doubt the nursing profession here in the Philippines needs a radical transformation.. for the better. It is just that nurses here aren't quite viewed to be the professionals they really are (sad to say). If we can't change the system, the best we can do as RNs is to make changes within ourselves (our thoughts, perspectives) and set a good example wherever we choose to work here in the Philippines (while waiting for our opportunity...and you know what i mean! hoorah). What a nurse is to people may vary in different places but i feel that ultimately, wherever we are, it is not the profession that defines us; how we perform our responsibilities and respond to an assortment of situations as a nurse is what is important. *sigh* I very well know how it feels to be overworked and underpaid...the feeling of being "one of them" in a sea voiceless people... Hey, but we will have our time of triumph! Yes, we will! What i do when i feel underappreciated is to remember who it is i serve (be it God..) and use my work as a form of worship. Often times you may find that it is the patients and not the institution or employer that values you! I have had many patients ignorant about what it is nurses do and i make it a point to educate them (in a nice way). If they so happen to fancy you and they know you are a nurse and you act in a professional manner befitting a nurse, that's one step towards progress! Change takes time and in increments, we all know. The nurses that i have worked with, in my opinion, are not brash, good to say. On the downside, many have that crab mentality. Yeah, we all pray for that utopia (ah, to work in the ideal setting, you know... earn lotsa mullah to support family and friends, mingle with compassionate and skillful people, etc.) but i guess there will never be such a place as long as there are human beings . I guess all we ask for is a place just that one notch better than where we are! But in the meantime, we are where we are for a reason and it is up to us to engage in some introspection and process whatever it is for us to learn now.
  11. by   bakaldude
    my hat's off to you.

    indeed, the nursing profession needs a transformation.

    this is what i have been looking for all these years. and people should continue to talk about it. this should be in the topic for the next PNA annual convention.

    let's talk about issues. because if we do not talk about it, the majority will think that there is no problem.

    don't get me wrong...it is only right for people to seek better pay. a better work place. a better life. and i'm not against immigration either. i know it's a naturally occuring phenomenon. my paternal grandmother was a chinese immigrant from macau. all the members of my family are in new zealand...and if i go back there, nobody will sign for the balikbayan box

    but maybe that is not the issue. maybe the remittances sent back to the philippines is not the issue. (it certainly is not the solution...millions of dollars have come in and thousands of people still go abroad ).

    there are lots of issues concerning the exodus of nurses from the philippines to other countries, but, realistically, we can't do anything about it. so let's focus on our nurses left here in the philippines...who i should say, are not rotting here...but are simply overworked and underpaid...not to mention unappreciated.

    maybe if we talk about the present condition of our profession here in the philippines, we will see the real issues that we should be concerned about, and from there, we can find solutions to those issues. and maybe we can find ways of helping out our fellow nurses here in the philippines.

    thanks for all your replies to this thread.
  12. by   sofia_815
    Our country has too much bad politics and a very low economy.. Businessmen cannot afford to pay their employees a decent salary like in first world countries, because if they do, they would lose too much profit and would lose their business as well..This is the reality, we cannot force hospital employers to pay high salary for staff nurses because we are not US or the middle east which has a good economy and high cost of living..The reason why we still have underpaid and overworked nurses is that almost every Filipino nurse aspires to work abroad..
  13. by   jon_29
    I am a volunteer nurse at govt hospital. I dont mind doing it. In fact, I love every minute of it. I work with a lot of volunteer nurses who have been there for years now. The hosp relies so much on us and we like that. I think there are those (me included) who do not care about salaries as long as they get the respect (esp from the doctors) they truly deserve and are happy with what they do. This is what keeps us stick with this hospital.
    How did I start as a volunteer nurse? Since agencies and employers in the US insist on apllicants to have actual experience in a hosp setting before being considered for a US job, I had no choice but to look for a hosp that would accept me. Believe me, there's very few of them. I consider myself lucky to be even accepted by this hosp bec the others had to pay for their volunteering. (PITY, Pity) But more than this, I love this job, I love this hosp.

    Getting an employment is hard. There are more nurses now than are hospitals that is probably why nurses are at their mercy. And for as long as this situation doesnt change, we dont expect a change either in the treatment of nurses here. I wish that US employers not be strict on hosp exp requiremnt so nurses can opt not to work esp if the salary is too low. but thats just a wish...
  14. by   nxt777
    Quote from jon_29
    i am a volunteer nurse at govt hospital. i dont mind doing it. in fact, i love every minute of it. i work with a lot of volunteer nurses who have been there for years now. the hosp relies so much on us and we like that. i think there are those (me included) who do not care about salaries as long as they get the respect (esp from the doctors) they truly deserve and are happy with what they do. this is what keeps us stick with this hospital.
    how did i start as a volunteer nurse? since agencies and employers in the us insist on apllicants to have actual experience in a hosp setting before being considered for a us job, i had no choice but to look for a hosp that would accept me. believe me, there's very few of them. i consider myself lucky to be even accepted by this hosp bec the others had to pay for their volunteering. (pity, pity) but more than this, i love this job, i love this hosp.

    getting an employment is hard. there are more nurses now than are hospitals that is probably why nurses are at their mercy. and for as long as this situation doesnt change, we dont expect a change either in the treatment of nurses here. i wish that us employers not be strict on hosp exp requiremnt so nurses can opt not to work esp if the salary is too low. but thats just a wish...
    you mean you're doing a volunteer job as a work experience? i thought the former can't be consider as the latter in your resume if you're applying a job in the us. because if that is a volunteer job the hosp can't make you accountable/responsible for your nursing actions since you are not being paid by them.
    and if anyone has an idea if the good samaritan law applies for those doing a volunteer job? (since they dont receive compensation for their nursing services)