SENIOR DOCTORS HOLD STOPWORK MEETINGS
PSI-AP Bulletin on Health & Social Services (June 2007)
During the 1990s New Zealand has introduced far-reaching reforms in the structure and operation of government departments and agencies. This model has attracted interest in developing countries because it promises significant gains in operational efficiency. But developing countries, which are dominated by informal markets, are risky candidates for applying the New Zealand model.
I note in a recent article reference to the tougher English language requirements imposed by NCNZ and how these are affecting Filipino nurses. Please be advised that these are not tougher than previously, in fact NC has made it slightly easier in allowing acquisition of all 4 components within one year instead of all at once as previously. The changes to the language requirements this year (2009) only affected nurses from English speaking countries – making them take the same flawed IELTs test which is a waste of time and money. It is important that misinformation is not spread. We have NZNO nurses who are angry because it looks as if NZNO is saying there should not be any language testing. We are NOT saying that, we are just saying that the IELT language test is an inappropriate for nursing communication in NZ. New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) continues to advocate transparent, safe and fair regulation and support for all overseas trained nurses. We are working with NC to facilitate clear, speedy processes for registration in NZ, including clarifying what information is needed on the transcript (more detail is needed than course titles), and better communication from NC where there is a problem. It is a very complex problem moving a group of health professionals from one environment to another, very different, one. We understand that the huge expansion of Nursing Training programmes in the Philippines has made it very difficult for NC to validate qualifications from hundreds and hundreds of schools where formerly there were considerably fewer.
MANILA, Philippines—A group of overseas Filipino workers has called on New Zealand authorities to approve the registration of qualified Filipino nurses working there for at least one year before the recent adoption of a policy on second courses. Migrante-Aotearoa protested the New Zealand Nursing Council’s policy of requiring nursing graduates who only took nursing as a second course to enroll for two to three more semesters before they can apply for registration. “We hope that the council will take the right step in protecting the rights of Filipino nurses currently in New Zealand who have long waited for their registration under the old policy rather than impose a new policy that will force them to go home or find work elsewhere,” Migrante-Aotearoa national coordinator Dennis Maga said in a statement emailed to the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
The council reasoned that in taking nursing as a second course, the student’s course duration was shortened since he or she was exempted from certain subjects, which often meant finishing the course in two to three years, instead of four. While it is the council’s job to assess the hundreds of applicants who are waiting in the Philippines, “we believe it is also their job to recognize the service and protect the rights of those who are already here,” according to Maga. “We ask the council not to undermine the skills of Filipino nurses who deserved to get their license before the new policy was in place,” he added.
In a letter addressed to Nursing Council chief executive Carolyn Reed, Maga said "We hope there will be justice and compassion for the nurses who are already working here. They certainly deserve to be registered under the old policy as they already proved to be of good service to the New Zealand health care system .” The council earlier issued other tough requirements for overseas-trained nurses, including passing an English language tests.
Maga recounted the experience of a Filipino nurse, a second-courser, who has been in New Zealand for almost three years and has a pending job offer in a hospital. The nurse finally passed the English proficiency test but the new policy “shattered her dream of finally getting a license,” Maga said. He added that the nurse could only work as a healthcare assistant and receive lower pay, despite the fact that New Zealand hospitals have a shortage of nurses. Many Filipino nurses were forced to go home to the Philippines as they could not afford to pay around 20,000 NZ dollars a year for the required additional semesters. Migrante said it would seek the support for the New Zealand Nurses Organization, the Human Rights Commission, the Philippine Nurses Association and other groups to protect nurses from discrimination and undue rejection.
The Philippine consul general, Marcos Punsalang, was earlier reported by the New Zealand media saying that the council should not reject Filipino nurses with qualifications they completed in less than four years. Punsalang said he personally assured the council of the "high quality and strict standards" of the Philippine nursing courses. Of the estimated 26,000 Filipinos in New Zealand, between 300 and 500 are nurses, according to Punsalang. The diplomat said hundreds of qualified Filipino nurses have been waiting for their registration to be approved so that they could seek employment.
The New Zealand Nursing Council earlier expressed worry that the rapid increase in the number of nursing students in the Philippines—about 450,000 in 2008 — might have an effect on the quality of the course. Nursing Council chief executive Carolyn Reed said representatives of the council would go to the Philippines to meet nursing regulatory and education officials and get assurance that the education courses meet New Zealand’ s standards. She said the proliferation of nursing courses and schools in the Philippines “have meant that we have had considerable difficulty assessing the adequacy of the theory and practice content of the programs of the nurses applying, in order to establish that they have met educational equivalence.”
MANILA, Philippines—A group of overseas Filipino workers has called on New Zealand authorities to approve the registration of qualified Filipino nurses working there for at least one year before the recent adoption of a policy on second courses. Migrante-Aotearoa protested the New Zealand Nursing Council’s policy of requiring nursing graduates who only took nursing as a second course to enroll for two to three more semesters before they can apply for registration.
Compilation of news re New Zealand water sector