Moving overseas a job remedy for nurses

Updated: 2013-05-13 01:29

By Wang Qingyun and Shan Juan (China Daily)

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But she still wants to fight for the chance to stay.

"I work as a personal care assistant in a nursing home three times a week, each time for about five hours. My job is to take care of the daily lives of people living there. It's a lot of physical work and sometimes dirty, but I get A$19 ($19) an hour. It's a lot of money," she said.

"You can certainly make a living as a nurse in China, but not earn much money. It's harder if you want to buy a house and have children. Maybe I'll have to return, but I'll try to settle here," she said.

In recent years, Japan has been another country where Chinese agencies find booming business opportunities.

"Many agencies are introducing nurses to Japanese hospitals and other medical facilities," said a woman identified as Liu at the Sichuan Tianfu agency in Chengdu, Sichuan province.

Liu, who is in charge of the agency's program that introduces Chinese nurses to Japan, said this year it has introduced 15 nurses to the country, and it is planning to send at least another 15 there within the year.

"After going to Japan, nurses need to have language training courses and get the nurse certification there before officially working in a hospital. But they do part-time jobs in local hospitals to support themselves," she said.

The agency's website listed programs recruiting nurses for hospitals in Japanese cities and prefectures such as Nagoya, Osaka, Nara and Saitama. The introduction says "Japan now lacks 40,000 nurses" and nurses in Japan make "3 million to 4.2 million yen ($41,300) a year".

China had more than 2.49 million registered nurses last year, up 1.15 million over 2005, statistics from the National Health and Family Planning Commission showed.

Currently, China's doctor-nurse ratio stands at 1:1.5, far lower than the international average of 1:4.

The demand for nursing services is expected to increase as China's ongoing healthcare reform makes medical care services accessible to more people via an almost universal healthcare policy, according to Guo Yanhong, deputy director of the ministry's medical administration department.

"Thereafter, making the team stable is highly important," she said.

Besides the pay increase and favorable policies for nurses, more incentives like advanced training programs should be introduced to encourage good nurses and improve their working environment, she said.

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