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Photographer Brian Evans captured a family living in a shelter in the Philippines. Picture: Brian Evans/Flickr

Trade unions of health care sector find Foreign Minister Timo Soini’s suggestion of bringing in nurses from the Philippines outrageous.

According to Millariikka Rytkönen, chairwoman of The Union of Health and Social Care Professionals in Finland (TEHY), the Philippines are an extremely poor country that educates its nurses to become an export product even as it would need to keep them there. Rytkönen was speaking in an interview with newspaper Kaleva.

Rytkönen said that the nurse education acquired in the Philippines is not valid in Finland or in other EU countries.

“Filipino nurses in Finland work as care helpers and as cleaners. They have been tricked to come to Finland with false images, and Soini as the foreign minister, knows this,” Rytkönen said.

In the same article, Silja Paavola, chairwoman of the Finnish Union of Practical Nurses (SuPer), said that “it’s an unusual thought to drag people here without language skills like they were a flock of animals.”