Nursing is the protection, promotion, and optimization of health and abilities, prevention of illness and injury, alleviation of suffering through the diagnosis and treatment of human response, and advocacy in the care of individuals, families, communities, and populations.

Pinoy nurses vs consultancy firms’ misleading claims

Marilyn” and “Martha”, not their real names, spoke with ABS CBN Europe News Bureau to warn nurses in the Philippines to be wary of consultancy firms that offer services to facilitate the application of student visas for nurses who want to work in the United Kingdom.

The nurses did not want to reveal their identities because they don’t want to make their families back home worry about them. While other victims of similar scam preferred to be tight-lipped about the mounting rise of victims of consultancy firms with misleading claims on the nature of their work in the UK, the two bravely faced ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau to shed light on the anomaly through their story.

The UK is not recruiting general nurses and as part of its exclusive elite membership to the EU, has prioritized applicants from the European Economic Zone for job vacancies in the health sector.

Back in the Philippines Marilyn and Martha knew the only way to enter the UK would be to get a student visa. Some of their friends entered the UK via the same route and were able to work in nursing homes. So they thought there was no harm trying their luck. After all, they have relatives who were willing to sponsor them. They spent almost P300,000 each to be able to get their student visas sorted.

No job, accommodation
Once in the UK, their dreams crumbled. They were led to believe by the consultancy firm they hired that as soon as they land the UK, they will work.

“Pagdating namin dito wala kaming trabaho. We got only 500 pounds pocket money. So paano yan? Yung transporation dito ang mahal, yung pagkain (din) dito. Ang sabi ng school I don’t know what your agency is talking about. We are just a school here. Yes, we guide the students but we don’t provide the work for you. You have to look for a job on your own,” explained Marilyn.

They were also promised that the school will help them locate a decent accommodation for their stay in London. But the amount of the monthly rent for rooms was not what they told.

“Sabi nila mayroon kaming pwedeng tirahan na mas affordable. Hindi naman pala affordable napakamahal. Imagine, we have to pay 625 pounds a month each,” said Marlyn.

With only 500 pounds as pocket money and no job to help them get by, they both got depressed. Thankfully, fellow Filipinos lent them support.

They were also informed that once in the UK they can have a full-time work as a nurse. But the UK only allows 20 hours of work per week during term-time for international students. It’s only during term break that they can work full time.

“We don’t know the place, we don’t know where to start. Talagang nahirapan talaga kami. Kasi hindi sila nagsasabi ng totoo. Sana sinabi nila na pagdating sa UK wala kayong trabaho. Kaya ang maghahanap sana nakundisyon namin ang sarili namin at naging much prepared kami. Fully-equipped kami pagpunta namin dito,” she said.

Many universities in the UK have NVQ (National Vocational Qualification) training Centers where the colleges help with formalities such as opening bank accounts, applying for travel discounts and accommodation. The consultancy firms in the Philippines come in as partners of the universities here to help applicants in their student visa application.

Embassy begins dialogue
The Philippine Embassy in the UK has already started a dialogue with the UK Home Office to look into this problem. It has been receiving similar complaints from nurses who came to the UK with student visas.

“Yung mangilan-ngilang kaso na umaabot sa amin sa embahada ay siguro patunay na rin na dapat tingnan din ng mga awtoridad hindi lang sa Pilipinas kundi maging sa UK. Nagkaroon na po ng ilang pagpupulong sa parte ng embahada at UK Home Office dahil na rin po sa paghingi ng tulong ng embahada sa awtoridad dito sa UK na kung maari ay suriing mabuti ang sistema at implementasyon ng tinawag na tier 4 or student visa issuance,” said Consul General Maria Theresa Dizon-De Vega.

De Vega advises those who want to enter the UK with student visa: “Ang maipapayo po ng embahada sa lahat ng gustong magpunta dito sa UK para makahanap ng trabaho, una suriing mabuti kung ano ang papasukin nila.”

‘You have to be really careful’
Six months after their arrival in the UK, Marilyn and Martha are now both working in a London nursing home as carers with no intention of attending classes at the university. They both claimed that there is no point going to university because they are both nurses and don’t need the theoretical aspect of the courses at the university.

“Dapat mag-ingat kayo at you have to be really careful at huwag kayong magtiwala sa pangako nila. Dapat tingnan nyo muna yung kontrata. Kung may binigay silang pangalan, i-search n’yo sa internet kung nag-i- exist ba yung company na yun. For nurses naman, this is a wrong stepping stone. Kasi it is out of your field. Kasi pagdating mo dito hindi ka talaga nurse. carer ka, it’s out of your line. Yung experience at skills mo ma-waste lang lahat. Hindi ka dapat talaga student visa kasi hindi ka estudyante, professional ka,” explained Marlyn and Martha gave her nod of support for the statement. Click this link to read the original article


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