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Saudi Gazette editor praises Filipino nurses

An editor of the leading English-language daily newspaper published in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia was all praises for Filipino nurses in his opinion column published on Sunday.

Khaled Almaeena, Editor-at-Large of Saudi Gazette, recognized the tremendous job Filipino nurses is doing for Saudi Arabia in his post entitled, “Can you imagine Saudi hospitals without Filipino nurses?”

He also took note of the “very disturbing stories of the verbal abuse that they have been subjected to and the arrogant attitudes of some patients,” and also “the discrimination in salary and inequality in the treatment of nursing staff.”

Here’s the excerpt, via Saudi Gazette:

In the last two weeks, I have had to go to a couple of hospitals and I chanced to talk to some of the Filipino nurses who were at first hesitant to disclose their plight. However, in those encounters some of them opened up and told me some very disturbing stories of the verbal abuse that they have been subjected to and the arrogant attitudes of some patients. This is unbecoming of us as we are supposed to be followers of Islam a religion that teaches us to be compassionate and to show mercy to all mankind. Our Prophet (peace be upon him) was sent to teach us noble manners and to guide us to do good deeds. Unfortunately, from what I have heard many Saudi patients need to be taught good manners and hospital managers need to learn work ethics and need lessons on how to behave toward their colleagues and staff.

Sadly, some of the trials and tribulations that nurses experience are totally unacceptable and need to be corrected and stopped. Topping the list of grievances is the discrimination in salary and inequality in the treatment of nursing staff. Filipino nurses feel humiliated and underpaid.
They have to work an obligatory 12-hour duty shift with unpaid overtime.
This is equally prevalent in both the government and private sectors.

One Filipina nurse said: “Our supervisors do not show any respect to us” and “are oblivious to our dedication beyond the call of duty”. She explained how written hospital policies concerning their basic rights are not implemented.

To me this is very disturbing. These nurses come from faraway places to serve us and the least that can be done is to show them fair treatment.
In some cases verbal abuse is followed by physical abuse as well, and unfortunately, those in charge often fail to speak up and defend the right of nurses to be treated with dignity and self-respect.

I cannot help but wonder: if this is what happens to expatriate nurses in cities and in towns, then what is their situation in remote regions of the country? In most cases if a nurse objects to disruptive behavior and confronts her sponsor, it is held against her and she could be deported.

I believe we should conduct awareness campaigns to highlight the plight of Filipino nurses and other expatriate nursing staff who deserve to be shown more appreciation for doing a great job. They work selflessly with dedication against heavy odds and live in difficult conditions and do not earn a proper salary.

The nursing staff and especially the ICU professional staff are just as important as doctors, if not more so. They are valuable professionals and should be treated as such. Can you imagine Saudi hospitals without Filipino nurses? What would happen? Our medical system would grind to a halt and our hospitals would have to shut their doors.

He concluded by saying that “hospital owners and the Ministry of Health should dedicate a special day to express their gratitude and appreciation to these modern-day Florence Nightingales.” [via Source]

3 thoughts on “Saudi Gazette editor praises Filipino nurses

  1. In a picture I saw bruises on the arms and hands of my daughter. She is a professional nurse, but she could not buy her moisturizer, lotion, and warm coat for winter. She says, she’s like a prisoner in her new work. I think it’s a remote polyclinic. She has no salary yet, and is allowed only an hour in a Wednesday to visit a department store. However, she could not purchase anything for she has no more money. If her bruises are naturally caused by the climate and the detergent and alcohol they use in the clinic, she needs medication. But if my daughter’s bruises are inflected maliciously then that is a different story. I always pray hard that my dearest girl is safe. She is my treasure. I raised her with grace and decorom, mindful of her manners. She is a well schooled nurse with much compassion for her work and her patients. I molded her with love and care. I did not opose her decision when she quit her job here in the Philippines, for I know she needs to see the other side of the world and to practice herrofession. She is there to take good care of mankind, to be of service to those who need medical help. So please treat my daughter with due respect. Give her the salary worthy of a professional nurse, so she can have a decent life in your country, a place which is so foreign from what she had came from. I would consider your response humane and most deserving of a Filipino reect and service, if I get the assurance that my loving little daughter is always safe, happy in her work, and contented of a professional life in your country.

  2. and worst if u r working in an ICU WIth a ratio of 1:2 all critical with all the orders and trying to carry out all of it on time without delay..no proper meals and delaying the call of the nature, with one body and two hands running here and there with ur mind preoocupied with everything to be done and not to be apprecited by ur head thus she or he will scream at u.. the mouth is more bz criticizing rather than appreciating.. instead of helping boosting her staff to uplift the moral the stress the fatigue they r undergoing, she or he will just add insult to it..and every favor being asked u have to beg coz u cannot take ur ryts but she or he can easily avail all the benefits..lying and making up stories is her or his personality then she or he isnt worth being on that position..ITS SELFISHNESS.. only looking for the mistakes and not concentrating on the positive side of the staff drowning and dying just to make the ends met…

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