Long hours and low pay are fueling surging turnover among nurses, a report released by the Taiwan Nurse’s Union found.
The report found that about one-in-seven nurses left their jobs over the past year, with the number among first-year graduates significantly higher, at one out of five, while more than 70 percent of hospitals face difficulties in recruiting new nurses.
Union president Jane Lu (盧孳艷) said that a recent NT$2.5 billion (US$81.2 million) government project led by the Ministry of Health and Welfare has failed to improve working conditions for nurses as a result of lax oversight, while claims that the wages of nurses have improved were mostly false.
Photo: Wang Yi-sung, Taipei Times
Lu said that average wages for nurses have fallen from NT$41,878 two years ago to NT$40,306, adding that base pay on average accounted for just 63 percent of wages among most nurses, with the remaining 37 percent coming from various unstable sources, including bonuses, stipends for working at night or overtime pay.
She said that unreliable stipends and bonuses were used as methods of control to keep nurses silent about unreasonable working conditions, while sky-high penalty fees for breaches of contract also aimed to keep nurses from leaving their posts.
Taiwan Labour Front secretary-general Son Yu-liam (孫友聯) said government agencies should clamp down on instances of hospitals providing false information about employee wages.
Department of Labor Relations deputy director Hsieh Chien-chien (謝倩蒨) at the Ministry of Labor said that 30 percent of hospitals and clinics were fined for failing to pay employees overtime during a large labor inspection last year.
An improvised protective device for use when intubating patients designed by Taiwanese doctor Lai Hsien-yung (賴賢勇) is being adopted in the Philippines to help doctors there stay safe amid the worsening COVID-19 pandemic. “We made this acrylic aerosol box for my sister Dra. Frances Legaspi for Antipolo Doctors Hospital. Credits to Dr Lai Hsien-yung for the concept and design,” Anton Legaspi, whose family owns a business that makes customized designs, said on Facebook on Monday. The hospital is in Antipolo, about 25km east of Manila. Legaspi’s post was accompanied by several photographs of the box and a short demonstration video
Nearly 60 percent of Kaohsiung residents polled said that they would vote to recall Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu (韓國瑜), think tank Taiwan Brain Trust, which conducted the survey, said yesterday. A petition to recall the mayor is undergoing a second review and if it is passed, a vote is to be held in the latter half of June. Of those polled, 69.7 percent said that they would participate in a vote, while 56 percent said they would still participate if there was a sharp increase in the number of COVID-19 infections. The data showed that, irrespective of the COVID-19 pandemic, Han would likely
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