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U.S.-based Shearwater Health and Philippines-based Asian Hospital and Medical Center Create Transpacific Partnership to Solve Global Nursing Shortage

PR Newswire Asia Friday, 18 January 2019
U.S.-based Shearwater Health and Philippines-based Asian Hospital and Medical Center Create Transpacific Partnership to Solve Global Nursing ShortageMETRO MANILA, Philippines, Jan. 18, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Hospitals and other healthcare providers inside the United States are challenged daily to adequately staff nurses amidst an ongoing shortage with no end in sight. Shearwater Health contributes to increasing the supply of nurses by bringing international nurses to the U.S., which helps providers sustain excellent patient care.Asian Hospital and Medical Center’s President and Chief Executive Officer Mr. Andres Licaros, Jr. (fourth from left) with Shearwater Health’s SVP of Global Nurse Recruitment Mr. Nathan King (third from left) and Director for Immigration Ms. Ehmie Merginio (second from left). Also in photo (from left to right) Asian Hospital and Medical Center’s Director for Human Resources Ms. Aimee Jane Martinez, Chief Strategy Officer Ms. Sharon Hernandez, and Director for Nursing Ms. Carolina Buhain, RN, MAN.

The Philippines is a primary location from which Shearwater Health recruits its nurses through its local Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) accredited recruitment partner, ABD Manpower Services, Inc. Many Filipinos become nurses for the purpose of working in other countries, especially in the United States, where better economic and career growth opportunities are found (watch a touching example of one nurse's journey here). Attractive nursing opportunities outside of the Philippines result in more Filipino nurses in the profession here per capita than in the nations that recruit from the Philippines.

Any CNO at a U.S.-based hospital may read this and reasonably assume that Philippine hospitals have an ample supply of nurses. But the frequent departure of nurses from hospitals in the Philippines creates high turnover and temporary staffing shortages across the Philippines health sector. In some ways, then, U.S. hospital CNOs and Philippines CNOs share the same problem.

As a part of its mission to improve patient outcomes globally, in combination with its deep ties and commitment to the Philippines, Shearwater Health today announces a partnership with Asian Hospital, based in Manila, Philippines, to refer nurses for employment for a period of time while the nurse awaits a visa. Asian Hospital and Medical Center (AHMC) is a quaternary hospital and a subsidiary of the Metro Pacific Hospital Group, the largest private hospital group in the Philippines managed by the Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC). It is one of the top Philippine hospitals accredited by the Joint Commission International (JCI), the world's most prestigious accrediting body for health care organizations.  It has built a reputation of providing a unique and heartfelt kind of care to its patients in the Philippines, and a quality service that is on par with U.S.-based hospitals.

This transpacific partnership to coordinate efforts to address the nursing shortage will help Asian Hospital manage the migration of nurses outside of the country. In many cases in the Philippines, when nurses decide to work abroad, they prefer not to disclose this to their employers until the last possible moment, causing hospitals to scramble to fill positions.

Shearwater Health will help correct this problem by referring nurses recruited for U.S. employment through its POEA accredited agency, ABD Manpower, Inc., to Asian Hospital. Shearwater Health will then notify Asian Hospital many months in advance of when the nurse is expected to depart for the United States.

The wait for a visa to work in the United States for a Filipino nurse can take 2-4 years. Nurses often choose to work abroad (in the Middle East, for example) while waiting for a visa, which may require leaving their children and spouse in the Philippines. With Asian Hospital's outstanding reputation for developing nursing talent through its nursing leadership and training programs, Shearwater Health believes this arrangement offers nurses an alternative to remain in the Philippines while still developing nursing skills.

As a result, Asian Hospital, Shearwater Health, and the nurse will coordinate for the same goal: provide outstanding nursing care in the Philippines without disruption, and empower nurses inclined to work in the U.S. to reach their dream of a career in a U.S hospital.

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