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No Phuket Prescription for Shortage of Nurses

No Phuket Prescription for Shortage of Nurses

Friday, January 14, 2011
A CHRONIC shortage of nurses on Phuket is likely to be accentuated as more look to Singapore to improve job prospects and language skills.

The opening of a new hospital on Phuket this year may also speed the churnover rate of nurses at government hospitals.

The Deputy Director of Vachira Hospital Phuket, Dr Sirichai Silpa-Ar-Cha, told Phuketwan that the large public hospital in Phuket City employed 300 nurses, and as many as 200 of them might move on in the space of 12 months.

''Singapore hospitals are attracting more Thai nurses and pharmacists with good salaries and conditions,'' Dr Sirichai said. ''We struggle to compete. The ones who go to Singapore usually have good English, too.''

Phuket's three government hospitals struggle to compete against private hospitals but the private hospitals also have problems with the loss of nurses. Bangkok Hospital Phuket recently advertised, as they do quite regularly, for 40 nurses and 30 nursing aides.

It's an issue Thailandwide, with the need to increase the nurses who qualify annually to 5000. The free trade and work agreement that is due to be applied across the region from 2015 may accentuate the problem still further.

''Nurses are never unemployed,'' Dr Sirichai said.

Comments

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Take some from the Philippines, by some estimates they have a million too many.

Posted by jack on January 24, 2011 14:18

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Can an American work as a nurse?

Posted by Chris B on January 28, 2011 10:22

Editor Comment:

Having looked at 'Mash' for decades, I'd say No.

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Obviously the nurses have never learned that Phuket is considered the place to be these days. There was a time many years ago when Singapore was the place to be.

Posted by Brian on January 29, 2011 13:04

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I have two friends in US who would like to work as nurses on Phuket, anti US nurse sentiments aside, ( ? ) please-can they get a job here? Any idea as to wages?

Posted by Chris B on February 6, 2011 13:20

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"US nurse sentiments aside, ( ? ) please-can they get a job here? Any idea as to wages?"

I believe foreign doctors aren't allowed to practice here legally so I wouldn't hold out much hope for a nurse and if so it would be for a mere pittance.

Posted by innocent bystander on February 10, 2011 14:51

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From the Officers of the Department of Employment Phuket Office and the Medical Council of Thailand:

"Foreign doctors can apply for a work permit, but you need to get a license to practice medicine from the Medical Council of Thailand if you wish to work here long-term. If that is the case, you have to pass a test in Thai in order to get a permanent license."

Not sure if this applies to nurses, might want to check with the Medical Council of Thailand. Hope this helps.

Posted by Lee on February 10, 2011 15:58

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Is there *really* a shortage? I was down at Mission Hospital a few months ago and noticed that 90 percent of the nurses had been replaced with new ones. i suspect the hospital is doing some self-destructive cost control by not retaining their staff long-term.

(moderated)

Posted by Tired of The Act on February 25, 2011 11:43

Editor Comment:

If hospitals advertise for as many as 40 nurses at one time, there's a shortage, as well as a high turnover. We can't repeat speculation of the kind you make because we can't say whether it's true, and if it's not true, it's unfair.
One news report we've monitored this week says Vachira has 446 nurses and needs 200 more. I think we can say that's a shortage. The report says young nurses are hired today as employees, not as government officials as senior nurses were in the past.

Why put asterisks around the word ''really'' when it doesn't even need quotation marks? Are you trying to make the language more complicated than it should be? There's no need.

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Do nurses working in Phuket are graduates from the Mahawithiyailai Songkla Nakarin or other provinces too?

Posted by Adrienne on March 2, 2011 10:41

Editor Comment:

As we understand, yes.


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