Saudi Gazette opinion writer Khaled Almaeena shared the admiration he has for Filipino nurses.
Almaeena related that when he visited a local hospital, some patients were ordering the nurses around using foul language.
He went to a couple of hospitals and had the chance to talk to some Filipino nurses. He was aghast at their disturbing stories of verbal abuse, usually followed by physical abuse, and arrogant attitudes of some patients. He said he could not tolerate such behavior as it is unbecoming of being an Islam, which teaches its followers to be compassionate.
Almaeena said that the ordeals of Filipino nurses are unacceptable and needed to be corrected and stopped. Some of these ordeals include the discrimination in salary, and unequal treatment. These nurses have to work an obligatory 12-hour duty shift with unpaid to no overtime. This is predominant in government and private sectors.
One Filipina nurse said that written hospital policies concerning their basic rights are not implemented.
Almaeena said this treatment is unfair since the nurses come from faraway places to serve the people of Saudi Arabia, and the least the patients and employers can do is to show them fair treatment.
He suggested that awareness campaigns be conducted to highlight the plight of Filipino nurses and other foreign workers in Saudi Arabia. He also suggested that hospital owners and the Ministry of Health should dedicate a special day to express their gratitude and appreciation to these nurses.