Finland’s Nurses’ union Super criticize the move to recruit nurses from the Philippines

Healthcare Staffing Solutions, a subsidiary of Mehiläinen, trains Filipino nurses in Hong Kong. This image was captured from their website. Image: Healthcare Staffing Solutions

Finland will need thousands of new nurses to meet statutory staffing requirements coming into force in 2023 and the country has therefore started recruiting nurses from the Philippines to tackle its nursing shortage. But Finland’s Nurses’ union Super criticizes the move saying that Filipino nurses working as care assistants in Finland risk being paid below their skill level YLE reports. 

As part of a pilot program on work placement to train care assistants in Finnish elder care homes, fifteen Filipino nurses recently arrived in the Finnish city of Pirkanmaa after having completed training at a school run by the Finnish staffing agency Healthcare Staffing Solutions Oy in the Philippines. 

The Filipino nurses learned Finnish during their training in the Philippines and will be working at a unit of private healthcare provider Pihlajalinna in Sastamala, some 60km south of Tampere. Reija Puranen, a nurse charged with mentoring the Filipino students in the Pirkanmaa program is extremely pleased with the Filipino nurses’ energy and work ethics, and Municipal manager Antti Lahti hopes the pilot project becomes a success so they can continue the program, YLE writes.

Finland’s Nurses’ union Super is however less optimistic about the program and according to YLE, the union has criticized the move to recruit Filipino nurses saying that the nurses are trained as practical nurses or nurses in their home country and their lack of Finnish language skills may relegate these nurses to working for pay below their skill level as care assistants.

About Mette Larsen

ScandAsia Journalist • Scandinavian Publishing Co., Ltd. • Thailand

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