Unemployed nurses told to apply at call centers


MANILA, Philippines—Labor Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz is now advising some 100,000 unemployed Filipino nurses in the country to try their luck in the booming business process outsourcing  industry or call centers which she said had “non-traditional” health-related aspects.

Baldoz was referring to an array of non-clinical but medical-related information outsourcing opportunities such as medical transcriptionists, billers and health care secretaries, that provide alternatives for those seeking careers in the healthcare industry.

“With the fast-growing and innovative trends and advancements in the healthcare industry, I encourage you to go out-of-the-box, beyond the traditional clinical jobs, and explore other emerging medical and health-related careers that are needed by our labor market today,” Baldoz said.

Citing a report from the Bureau of Local Employment (BLE), Baldoz said the healthcare information outsourcing sector of BPOs is considered  one of the fast-growing sectors with over 100,000 medical-related jobs open to nursing graduates.

She said healthcare careers now expand into various disciplines which open huge career opportunities for nursing graduates and allied medical professionals.

The Career Guides posted at the BLE website at said healthcare outsourcing careers that unemployed nurses could consider include Medical Transcriptionists; Medical Secretaries; Medical Coders and Billers; Medical Assistants; Medical Representatives; and Medical Butlers.

Nursing graduates may also apply as clinical research associates who monitor and administer health and safety protocols, Baldoz said.

She said the job requires the same skills required of nurses, like medical knowledge and skill in applying clinical regulatory requirements.

“If they are into clinical review and decision making, they may consider a career as a clinical appeals specialist who abstracts relevant facts documented in the patient’s medical record, reviews clinical cases and responds to written medical appeals of patients and clients,” Baldoz said.

Citing the BLE Career Guides, Baldoz noted that these healthcare outsourcing jobs have starting pays ranging from P14,000-P18,000 while clinical appeals specialists employed in the BPO industry receive basic pay of P20,000-P40,000.

The pay may even be higher depending on the hours of work, typing speed and type of employment, Baldoz said.

“The salary in these alternate medical careers is almost double  the average monthly salary of P10,000 received by nurses working in local hospitals and private institutions.” Baldoz said.

“Beyond the higher pay, considering these medical-related careers as employment alternatives is a ‘win-win’ solution for our jobseekers in the healthcare industry,” she said.

These jobs, alongside with constant re-tooling and re-training, add to their educational expertise which will increase and broaden their competencies as they venture to their dream medical profession in the future,” Baldoz added.

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  • PoorOFW

    Heres out of the box thinking Sec. Baldoz: since we have a huge surplus of nurses with nowhere to go, why not strongly discourage for the moment (or set pretty high standards for admitting nursing students) colleges and two-bit nursing schools from conning kids into taking up a course which has little chance of being employed.
    Oh, another ‘out of the box’ suggestion – Why not practice some tact in explaining to kids who toiled blood, sweat and tears to follow their ambitions, that the real world(in the RP at least) is quite unforgiving to those who make wrong decisions.

  • Manuel Alberto

    Logical alternative. Why sit around when there are always something out there you can be hired for. These unemployed nurses should test themselves how capable they are to seek alternative work. A good example was myself. I have a degree in BSBA major in finance. I was hoping I could work in a bank. I end working for a Customs Broker. What do I know about Customs……limited knowledge. But through gaining experiences, it became my career. And I am still in the same business until now…..over 30 years after. Expand your horizon….as we sometimes say. There are always something out there, believe me.

  • Jose Reyes

    Ano ba namang suggestion iyan. Kapag na-pick-up ng international media yan magiging katawatawa ang Pilipinas nyan. Biruin mo ang secretary of labor pa mismo ang nagtutulak na magtrabaho sa call center ang mga nurses. Hindi naman minamaliit ko ang mga call center employees dahil marangal na trabaho yan at talaga namang nakakatulong sa mga customers plus $ earners din tulad ng OFWs pero ang punto ay kailangan namang kumilos ang mga govt officials para magkaroon ng trabaho ang mga nurses sa propesyong napili nila na maglingkod sa mga may sakit. Sana di na lang siya nagsalita. Marami naman talagang mga unemployed nurses ang sa call center na nagtatrabaho kaya wag na nyang i-advertise. Paki-ayos naman sana ng gobyerno ang priorities para naman di maging kahiyahiya tayo.

    • Manuel Alberto

      Mr. Reyes….there is no shame on that suggestion. Yourself may feel ashame but to these unemployed people, I would think it is better alternative than having no job at all. If I am a job agent or councilor, I would suggest the same thing. Good for this official to suggest that. It show you that she care. Why would you care what other countries think. That is not their problem. Care about your own yard first before you worry others………

  • Akazukin Chacha

    Actually a lot of call centers tend to discriminate against nursing graduates, specially fresh grads. There’s this stigma that nursing grads are only working at CCs while reviewing for their board, afterwhich, they resign to find a job more related to their degree. If youre the CC HR manager, why would you hire somebody you know will just resign/break bond after a few months or a year?

    We have to accept that we cannot accommodate so many nursing aspirants in this country. We can give them formal education, true, but there’s simply not enough training grounds for all of them in the actual field. Why can’t people realize this?

    I don’t see why people still take up nursing to be honest, even after seeing so many people jobless after graduating. ON the other hand, the IT industry has a lot of vacancies, and the salary’s pretty good. Most people I know just say “mahina kasi ako sa math”, I say that’s just being lazy, and misinformed since IT is more than math. It’s logic.

  • Ramon Jamandre

    What an idea! This nurses has study hard and spend hundreds of thousand just to finish their degree then suggest that they work in a call center at the level of a high school graduate that knows how to speak english. The labor secretary should lobby the Malacanang to make a budget for the training/working in all government hospitals where the ratio of Nurses vs Patient are too high for a standard good service and please No Politics in hiring.

    • Manuel Alberto

      Good suggestion….re-training would be an ideal solution. The question now, would the government go for it.
      Let us hope that the would be able to support that financially…..that is what other countries were doing.

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