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    Irish nurses among those leaving

    By Noreen Bowden | July 23, 2007

    Nurses are leaving Ireland for better pay and conditions, according to a spokesperson for the Irish Nurses Organisation. INO representative Ann Keating was quoted in an Irish Independent article that highlighted the fact that Canadian hospitals are headhunting Filipino nurses working in Ireland.

    There are more than 10,000 foreign-born among the 43,000 nurses working in Ireland; a Canadian recruitment firm is recruiting among them here in the belief that immigrant nurses will have had the opportunity to acquire English and experience working in Western hospitals. Filipino nurses were recruited to fill shortages in hospitals run by religious orders, in a drive that started in 2000. Many of the nurses are leaving now for Canada to access better incentives, including subsidised housing grants, cheap car loans, and the ability to bring close relations over after four years. In contrast, Filipino nurses in Ireland, very few of whom have citizenship, have reported dissatisfaction with the high cost of living and the fact that their spouses’ qualifications are often not recognised; in addition, their children are treated as overseas students and cannot access free college tuition.

    Irish nurses, however, are also finding life abroad tempting. “But it’s not just Filipino nurses who are leaving. In the past eight years, about 12,000 Irish nurses have left for places like Canada”, said Ms Keating.

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