Monday, August 17, 2009

A neat solution, indeed.

First off, let me say that I envy America for their health care system. We, in the Philippines don't have such system and we are left to fend for ourselves when we get sick or need medical services.

But I am not going to talk about the US health care crisis debate as I am not familiar with the pros and cons of the issue. Rather, let me share with you an amusing Nursing Reform Act introduced in congress by a Republican Representative John Shadegg from Arizona.

The bill calls for increasing work visas for foreign nurses. He said this will eliminate the shortage of nurses. Hurray! This is good news to thousands of Filipino nursing graduates.

Indeed, this bill is great on so many levels. For one, Americans know that health care is costing them an arm and a leg (pun intended). They say the biggest cause are obviously nurses and nursing unions. They claim that nurses are way overpaid, but unfortunately the health care corporations have not been able to break the nursing unions because of the shortage of nurses. So by bringing in lots of foreigners, they can flood the market with labor, break the unions, and get nursing salaries down. Isn't that brilliant?!

But take note, that this is the same approach that was so successful in cutting the salaries earned by information technology workers about 10 years ago. US corporation complains of high IT costs, so their brilliant Congress increased the number of H1-B visas so that companies can hire cheap workers from India and other places. Later, many of these foreign workers returned to their homelands and brought the work with them. Now, corporate America doesn't have to pay high salaries, and they don't even have to look at the foreigners anymore - they can just write a little check to India. Bravo!! Fortunately, information technology salaries have never rebounded to the levels where they were.

Now, back to nurses. Let's face it, nursing is a difficult, degrading work. Nurses sometimes have to wipe feces, and Americans are better than that! Sure, they can certainly find some Indians, Filipinos, or Chinese people to do that work thus, ridding self-respecting Americans of the need to perform that dirty job. In fact, they have rid themselves of the burden of almost all manufacturing jobs, call center jobs, and as mentioned earlier, many information technology jobs.

This bill is also the first step down the same glorious road for health care. I had read an article which says over 6 million Americans will travel abroad for surgery. See related topic here. Once these foreign nurses have become adept in "American-style health care," many can return home to help set up cheap health care services to those Americans that can afford to fly overseas. Think of the opportunities this will create for the airline industry!

Well, my only criticism of the bill is that, it doesn't go far enough. Perhaps it's not too late. Someone should urge Mr. Shadegg to expand this legislation so that America can bring in an additional 50,000 foreign doctors, 50,000 foreign dentists, 50,000 foreign lawyers, 50,000 foreign engineers, and 310 learned people for government positions (254 to take the Democratic congressional seats and 56 to take the Democratic Senate seats, ha ha ha!!!!!).

Did that make you laugh, AA? Mission accomplished, then.


Tracey said...

All through that I could 'hear' Ray!!

Sheila said...

We have many foreign doctors and nurses here, and we are very thankful for them. (Canada)
Lots of our medical graduates go to America for work and opportunities they feel are unavailable to them here.
I guess the grass always looks greener somewhere else.

Odette said...

our nurses had been going abroad faster than we can produce. now our health care system is in peril because of the shortage. we cannot stop them from leaving because they earn more than if they stay here.


Oow hun great post! We have foreign nurses here, but not as many as overseas. Our population is small and we have a high turnout of local student nurses every year, to the point they have nursing enrolments x2 a year and long waiting lists. New Zealand nurses are in general highly regarded overseas and we lose many due to pay conditions, and huge student loans.

Angry American said...

First off, let me correct you on a few facts. Our nurses aren't overpaid, they're over worked. Talk to any one of them and they'll be more than happy to explain. Second, we have PCAs {Patien Care Assistants) to take care of wiping asses and such. But, I can tell you from personal experience, the night shift nurses still wiped up my sh*t because the PCAs don't work nights.

The reason nurses here don't do as much disgusting work is because Administrators (talk about overpaid, heartless, useless pieces of sh*t) push them to do more and more and more work keeping track of patient's medical info and other things. Work our doctors can easily do. And, in return, they get treated more and more and more like sh*t by the Adminsitrators. So do most other staff in our hospitals.

This is the main reason we have a horrible shortage of nurses. Not only that, hundreds of thousands of LPNs have lost, and will continue to lose their jobs all across the country because they are being phased out. They're being replaced by lower paid, less skilled STNAs (State Tested Nursing Assistant). Every one of these well trained and, and much needed LPNs will have to go back to college to become an RN, or get a job in a different field. At the rate we're losing jobs to foriegn countries, it'll most likely be flipping burgers.

By the way, it's great India's IT techs, customer service and other workers got our jobs. But, it sure as HELL wasn't because we were short handed. It was strickly becuase our big businesses are greedy mother f*ckers and wanted bigger profits. PERIOD!

This has left way too many americans jobless, a lot of whom are still out of work or doing lower paid, sh*tty work to this day.

Isn't that nice too?

Nuff said.

Odette said...

yes, working abroad is always attractive because of the pay, even if like what AA says,they are overworked.

Odette said...

i know you have a mouthful to say... so i won't add some more.

jen said...


I have to agree with every bit of what Angry American said!! Out of all The many visits that my family and I have had to the hospital It's the nurses that gave us 99% of our care!! I think it's the doctors that are overpaid! Heck, back in the day doctors were paid in apples or chickens!! Things have just gotten so out of hand and it all comes down to GREED!!

And yes, it's because of GREEDY corporate America that my hubby is out of a job!! It sure doesn't help that we have a bunch of complete IDIOTS running this country either!!


Odette said...

many americans have the same sentiments as you, esp. those who were affected with the economic crisis. and now, your healthcare system is going through an overhaul. hope your think-tanks, would consider what works in the present system and correct those that doesn't.

Tracey said...

We have a shortage of British nurses, no one is interested any more, because of being over worked and under paid. Same goes for a lot of jobs here, I'm sure there are more Portuguese than English here now, you walk down a street and it's a shock to hear any bugger speaking English. BUT that's another story....

Odette said...

what is underpaid in your standard, is oppose to ours, hence many of my countrymen would apply for work there. ditto with other foreign nationals. at least, there are still people who are willing to fill the gap, no?

Sid Brechin said...

America's great heath care system is one of the worst in the world. You can not get treatment unless you can first prove that you can Afford to pay for it. They try to get doctors and nurses from everycountry in the world including us.

The highest part of the cost of US health expenses is malpractice insurance. They pay much more for that then in taxes.

A few years ago we got the same thing in IT many companies have gone under as a result. Many have machines returned because they cannot get service in English or French. Dell used to have a huge chunk of the market here since moving the IT support to india it has been rife with fraud and the computer store here in town is filled with scrap Dell machines. No other brands beyond repair.

Also we are beginning to see many nurses behind bars for crimminal negligence. Doctor's manage to stay out in general or can afford to leave the country before charges can be filled. Misunderstanding what I patient says and writing what they think the patient is saying on a chart. Using meds that have similar names but very different effects.

Canadian nurses who go to the states usually dont' stay or go into other fields as soon as they end the contract in effect.

My ex graduated nursing. Before the course was even half over companies from the states where here offering to hire the entire class before they had even come close to graduating. Grades would not mater just finish the course.


Our biggest problem here is that in relation to pay they are also overworked and understaffed.

The Hospitals are all trying o cut costs. So they Try to keep staff down to the lowest number possible without breaching patient safety.

They base the numbers of Staff for the day on the number of patients. So when they scream "all our beds are full" quite often you will go onto a ward and find 5 or more empty beds. They keep them empty because the Hospital wont fork out for more nurses, and take on more patients.

However quite often nurse may only have 4 or so patients 2 of those may have critical issues, they should be in I.C.U or H.D U (high Dependency Unit) to cut costs the patients are put back onto an understaffed ward. So the nurses are effectively trying to give one to one care to an extremely ill person while looking after multiple patients. This is a safety issue, and the staff burn out.



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