Filipinos who have received nursing training in their home country work in Finland as nursing assistants and community nurses.
The shortage of nurses mainly affects elderly services and home care.
The shortage of nurses is starting to show more and more in Finland. Retirement of nurses, new nursing sizing, and the sector’s low attractiveness is felt mostly in services for the elderly and home care. As a result, both private and public military actors are increasingly turning to foreign-assisted caregivers.
The Päijät-Häme Welfare Group has previously hired individual foreign caregivers. Before Christmas, the Group decided to tender for companies recruiting foreign caregivers to hire 50 caregivers. EUR 500,000 has been set aside for the training and entry of nurses.
The staff of the Group, which was struggling with financial difficulties, rose to its hind legs.
– We are not opposed to work-related immigration, but as a setting, it is quite exciting that there have been layoffs, and the staff feels that we are feeling unwell. We should first get our working conditions in order, says Siru Heromaa-Karjalainen, Chairman of Tehy’sTehy’s Vocational Department.
According to Erja Saari, the Group’sGroup’s Vice President, Human Resources, the Group is doing its best to curb nurses’ shortage. The Group has started apprenticeship training and is trying to lure shippers back into nursing. That alone is not enough.
The island calculates that the Group would need 250 caregivers annually. The shortage of nurses affects the whole country. If one in five young people applied for training in the field, much of the deficit would already be covered. But other sectors also need factors.
– This industry also requires the right kind of attitude and attraction to the industry. Studies in the field are often interrupted when it is noticed that the field is not suitable for oneself, says Saari.
Attendo hires a thousand Filipino nurses, Mehiläinen began his training.
Private health care companies are also bringing more Filipino nurses to Finland than before. Attendo said in October to hire a thousand new Filipino nurses over the next four years. Attendo has previously employed 300 Filipino nurses.
Mehiläinen oy said in December training of Hong Kong nursing staff in Hong Kong, which has started its subsidiary. The Finnish language and nursing education are organized virtually together with a Finnish educational institution. HR Director Tatu Tulokas does not say the exact number of trainees.
– The first training group started spring with ears. There is currently the talk of a small number, dozens of caregivers.
The nurses hired by both Attendo and Mehiläinen will first come to Finland to work as a care assistant. However, according to the companies, the goal is a nurse’snurse’s degree and, later, if there are enough enthusiasm and ability, a nurse’snurse’s degree.
Ethical problems to be solved
However, not everyone can come to Finland as a care assistant. Filipinos selected for education are required to have a nursing degree in their home country. This is precisely what the trade union thinks is a drawback.
Filipinos do not have a nursing degree in Finland or other EU countries, so they have to start nursing studies from the beginning and language studies. According to They, this is a waste of education.
There are other ethical issues. According to research conducted in Finland (Theseus database), Filipino nurses’ progression to nursing in Finland is quite complicated. Nurses feel that their nursing skills and abilities are declining in Finland. Also, family reunification is not possible with the salary of a caregiver or community caregiver.
The personnel managers of both Mehiläinen and Päijät-Häme Welfare Group admit that it would be easier if the training of Filipinos met local requirements. However, they believe that the employer alone will not be able to resolve all the grievances.
– The challenge here is how to make sure of a person’s skills and level of education. One option could be for us to have direct contacts with educational institutions in the field in the Philippines, says Tatu Tulokas, Mehiläinen’sMehiläinen’s Human Resources Director.
– These problems should be solved at the national level and together with various actors. The recruitment of nurses from abroad will increase, so these issues must be resolved, says Erja Saari, HR Director of the Päijät-Häme Welfare Group.
Erja Saari, HR Director of the Päijät-Häme Welfare Group, has calculated that the domestic labor market is not enough, but caregivers must also be recruited from abroad. Photo: Juha-Petri Koponen / General
Companies recruiting Filipino nurses promise to pay special attention to the integration of nurses. Immediately out of the box, the aim is to clarify what work the caregivers will do and what Finnish society is like.
The Päijät-Häme Welfare Group wants to involve its current staff in planning and coaching caregivers from abroad.
– It is in the interest of all of us, including the current staff, that we have enough skilled staff. It increases our resilience and well-being, says Saari.
Korona is blocking entry for the time being
Silkkitie oy, a personnel service company that cares for and trains Filipino nurses, says that nurses’ arrival in Finland is frozen due to the corona. The company cares for nurses recruited by Attendo. Three hundred nurses are currently in training, and one hundred nurses have already studied the Finnish language for about a year.
These hundred would have already come to Finland, but according to Arkk Haimakainen, CEO of Silkkitie, the Finnish Embassy has not processed residence permits due to the pandemic.
According to Haimakainen, Finland should speed up the work permit process anyway if it wants relief from its nurses’ shortage.