Hi Blog. Here’s something to point to next time you get the boilerplate about the Japanese public being unprepared for a foreign influx. We know Keidanren has long wanted foreign labor so the nation’s factories can stay afloat with cheap workers. Now it’s clearer, according to the survey below, that the medical industry expressly wants them because they have NO workers. Now let’s stop putting up so many hurdles for Filipina nurses to become “qualified” (and for crissakes belay the pipedreams of robot caregivers!). Debito in Sapporo
80% of hospitals interested in employing foreign nurses
Yomiuri Shinbun Mar. 12, 2008
Courtesy of Jeff Korpa
More than 80 percent of medium- or large-sized hospitals have indicated an interest in accepting foreign nurses, while about 40 percent are actually considering hiring such nurses, according to a survey by a research team at the Kyushu University Asia Center.
Following bilateral economic partnership agreements signed between Japan and the Philippines and Indonesia, Japan likely will start accepting nurses and caregivers from those countries as early as this summer.
“There were more hospitals that showed interest in accepting foreign nurses than we’d expected,” said Sadachika Kawaguchi, professor at University of Occupational and Environmental Health, Japan, who also was involved in the survey.
“The high interest among hospitals is not only because they hope to address the shortage of nurses, but rather, many apparently are hoping to revitalize themselves by having foreign nurses on staff,” he said.
“But many hospitals seem hesitant to [move to accept foreign nurses] due to a lack of information about them,” Kawaguchi added.
The survey, conducted in February, covered 1,604 hospitals nationwide with more than 300 beds, and 522 hospitals, or 32.5 percent, submitted valid responses.
More than 80 percent of respondents expressed interest in hiring foreign nurses, with 28.7 percent saying they were “very” interested and 54.2 percent “a little” interested.
Asked whether they hoped to accept Indonesian and Filipino nurses coming to Japan under the EPAs, 7.3 percent said they were eager to accept them, while 30.3 percent said they would like to if possible, meaning that 37.6 percent of the respondents, or 196 hospitals, showed positive attitudes toward accepting such skilled workers.
Among the 196 hospitals, 129 indicated they would accept two or three nurses, followed by 27 hospitals saying they wanted to accept between four and six. Three hospitals said they would like to hire 11 nurses each.
In a multiple-answer question on the reasons why they wanted to take on foreign nurses, 53.8 percent said it was due to a shortage of nurses, while 53.1 percent cited international exchange.
Meanwhile, 61.9 percent of the hospitals, or 323 hospitals, said they did not want to accept foreign nurses. Asked the reasons why, and allowed to give multiple answers, 61.3 percent expressed concern about the nurses’ communication skills with patients, followed by 55.7 percent who said they would have to spend much time or staff resources to train them, and 46.4 percent citing a lack of knowledge of the level of their nursing techniques.
Yomiuri Shinbun Mar. 12, 2008