Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Desperately Ignorant

My irritation regarding this so-called racial slur against Filipino health workers grew like an out-of control allergy attack. What made it preposterous is the glaring ignorance of the writers of the show Desperate Housewives, and the lack of sensitivity and prudence on the part of the network. Nowadays it is apparent that TV networks would resort to tasteless humor- racist and demeaning jokes or even offensive language just to get extra viewership (this also explains the existence of shows like Jackass and The Simple Life).

First things first, let us shed light on the core of the issue: are Philippine medical schools truly inferior? If this is true, then it would follow that the products of these schools would likely be incompetent health care workers. Listed below are the facts; I’ll leave it up to you to decide the answer to the question.

Fact no. 1: “Diploma mill” schools do exist. “Learn Nursing the EASIEST WAY!” Screamed one banner. “Get a job abroad as a caregiver in just 6 months!” Said another. This is not to disparage any of those schools, but this may have partly contributed to the negative perception people have on our medical schools. Quality education should be the focus in all our schools, not offering shortcuts to success (which I believe does not exist). Nevertheless, we have our government agencies that monitor and regulate the schools authorized to offer such courses.

Fact no. 2: All health workers must pass the board exam before being employed. This means, they have to meet certain requirements as well as have enough knowledge and skill before they are given their licenses. Furthermore, they have to take foreign licensure examinations and pass, in order for them to be eligible to work in a foreign country. This assures foreign employers that health care workers educated in the Philippines are at par in terms of skill and knowledge with those health care workers educated in their country.

Fact no. 3: Many Filipinos and Filipino-Americans in practically every corner in the US have been working competently as Doctors, Nurses, and Medical Technicians. According to Kevin Nadal, a Filipino university professor in New York, “the Philippines produces more US nurses than any other country in the world… Many of the hospitals in major metropolitan areas of the US (and the world) would not be able to operate without its Filipino and Filipino-American staff members.”

It is a shame really, because the producers of the show obviously overlooked the contributions that the Filipino community had given to the US health care industry, not to mention that part of the audience of the show are also Filipinos. The offending remark ignited a storm of protests from Filipinos all over the globe. Some say the derogatory remark was “hurtful and unfounded” while some saw the act as “disrespectful”. I say it was just a plain case of ignorance and bad TV writing.


Pageant Buff said...

Since that Desperadang Mga Asawa racial issue exploded, I've banned watching the show. It really irritated me!

Phoenix said...

@ pageant buff: nag-apologize na daw yung studio.. i just hope they won't resort to offensive humor next time.

beejing said...

Today's your Birthday right?
Happy Birthday!!!

dazedblu* said...

Hallo musta na? I thought the issue was already gone, unfortunately there are still ppl talking abt it.

Btw. there's a gud answer & so enuff reason if yew guys watched the ep. of Palaban from GMA few weeks ago... they actually had a talk and argued some concerns abt it. I dunno if there's a video upload in youtube.. :) Maybe yew can check guys.

mrs.j said...

ayaw m ng banner ha? or HEADER!!

Phoenix said...

@ Beejing: Thanks po!! HEhe

@ Dazedblu: I was asked by a good friend to write the article.. actually it's not really that big a deal for me = )

@ mrs. j: under construction pa hehe


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