Oversupply or shortage of nurses? DOLE wants to know MANILA, Philippines—Officials of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) are set to meet with hospital owners to find out if there is an oversupply or shortage of nursing graduates in the country. DOLE Secretary Marianito Roque said that while there have been reports of oversupply of nurses, hospital owners have been complaining about the lack of applicants for nursing jobs. Nurses could be more interested in getting overseas jobs due to much higher pay. “We will be holding dialogues with hospital administrators to find out about these supposed vacancies,” Roque said in a phone interview with the Philippine Daily Inquirer, parent company of INQUIRER.net. He said the government agency would likewise be conducting an inventory of nursing graduates. “Last year, the hospital owners had voiced out their complaints about the lack of nurses in the Philippines,” Roque said. “The demand for nurses abroad is actually increasing,” Roque said, adding that Canada and Southern Australia have been coordinating with the DOLE to hire nursing graduates to work for them. He added that Libya and Saudi Arabia have likewise been actively hiring Filipino nurses. “The situation is not that bad,” Roque said. University of the Philippines College of Nursing Dean Dr. Josefina Tuazon and Philippine Nurses Association National President Leah Paquiz earlier disclosed the oversupply of nurses. Tuazon said that because of the numerous nursing graduates this year, the country's 67,728 hospitals had to get volunteer nurses to accommodate the fresh graduates. She pointed out that the high number of graduates of Practical Nursing, a two-year course that focuses on the basics of nursing, aggravated the unemployment problem. In a statement to the media, Paquiz said: “There is no local demand or positions for practical nurses within the Philippine Health Care Delivery system particularly in the light of the oversupply of nurses and subsequent unemployment of fresh nursing graduates.”

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