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Filipino nurses protest outside national newspaper office


Several hundred Filipino nurses protested outside the London headquarters of the Daily Mail newspaper on Saturday, following recent coverage of the Victorino Chua case.

The event on 30 May, organised by Filipino nurses from Unison, follows a recent war of words over the media portrayal of nurses from the Philippines in the wake of the jailing of Mr Chua for murdering two of his patients and poisoning 19 others.

“The nationality of the perpetrator of these wicked crimes should be irrelevant”


The protesters singled out the Daily Mail after it published a series of articles last month highlighting Mr Chua’s nationality and revealing that the NHS was continuing to recruit nurses directly from the Philippines.

They argued that Mr Chua’s crimes, while terrible, should not be linked to his nationality and that some of the coverage had been “offensive” to Filipino nurses working in the NHS. They have called for a public apology from the newspaper.

Unison said it estimated that directly employing Filipino nurses saved the NHS £300m per year in agency nursing fees.

Meanwhile the Royal College of Nursing has said “media interest in the Victorino Chua case” has “provoked a great deal of anger and consternation” among nurses.

In a statement on 26 May, the college said it had contacted media organisations that its members believed had failed “to report the facts and to investigate, analyse and debate in a sensitive and appropriate manner”.

“The Chua case has provoked a great deal of anger and consternation in the nursing community”

Peter Carter

Peter Carter, RCN chief executive and general secretary, said: “The Chua case has been the subject of much media interest and comment.

“Nurses from the Philippines have been working in the NHS for many years and have contributed enormously to our health service,” he said.

“The RCN objects strongly to any media story, which would suggest that the actions of one disturbed individual should be preventing the NHS from recruiting any further Filipino nursing staff,” he added. 


Statement handed to Daily Mail by protesters

Position statement of organisers: Solidarity gathering supporting UK Filipino Health Workers

Following the recent conviction and sentencing of nurse Victoriano Chua for murdering two patients and poisoning 18 others, the Daily Mail published several references to him being Filipino.

We believed that the nationality of the perpetrator of these wicked crimes should be irrelevant. We would accept a reference to Chua being of Filipino ethnicity within the body of the story, however the Daily Mail referred to Chua as a ‘Filipino serial killer’ in the title of the news article is uncalled for.

The other headline story which is causing offence and indeed difficulties for Filipino nurses is ‘Why are the NHS still hiring Filipino nurses?’

We believe that one person’s mistake doesn’t reflect everyone.

We consider the article by Daily Mail questioning the credibility of Filipino Nurses, including all working Filipinos in the UK, malicious and degrading. Filipino nurses have undergone four years of tedious study, community and clinical based experiences and need to pass a gruelling board examination before they can be called registered nurse.

What happened was a tragedy and safety measures have to be implemented to stop it from happening again however, scaremongering and targeting a specific group of people is not helping.

The Daily Mail should be shamed of its biased, partial reporting that is inciting racial hatred which we believe is a crime in the United Kingdom.

These are the reasons for our protest, we demand an apology and for the Daily Mail to highlight the outstanding contribution Filipino health care workers make to the United Kingdom.

Finally, on behalf of the organising committee, in one with the overwhelming majority of Filipinos throughout the United Kingdom and indeed the world, we would like to say how truly sorry we are about the shocking crimes committed by Chua and we send our deepest condolences and prayers to the families of the victims.


Readers' comments (12)

  • michael stone

    Well, this answers a question I think I posted somewhere yesterday, along the lines of 'was The Mail worse than the rest [of the media] on this story ?'.

    It seems it was, from the above.

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  • Ellen Watters

    No more (or less) than I'd expect from the Daily Fail. Some of their journalistic principles and practices leave a lot to be desired..

    I have had cause myself to report several Daily Mail journalists for bad practice and downright incorrect information.

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  • I wasn't long ago that Unison was against Filipino Nurses working in Nursing Homes. This sort of OTT reporting is standard from the media where Nursing Homes are concerned

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  • Who would read that rag anyway? Well done Filipino nurses for raging against such trash

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  • I don't think it is helpful to offend people who read the Daily Mail or any other publication for that matter when offence is already on the table here, but I do agree The Daily Mail should apologise for their unfortunate sensationalist wording as mentioned above. The RCN and Unison should support and back this case due to it's members being vilified: irrelevant to their nationality. There are great Filipino nurses and not so great, there are great English nurses and not so great and so forth. The point is we are all PEOPLE. Harold Shipman wasn't Filipino. And that doesn't matter either. Describe them as an evil person. Job done.

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  • disgraceful and very bigoted to associate somebody's crimes with any nationality. Hopefully the Filipino nurses get all the support they need and recognition and gratitude for working in the British healthcare system. you are privileged to have them. a criminal can equally be a British nurse or one of any other nationality.

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  • well done to the Filipino nurses for conducting themselves professionally and with dignity in the face of this outrageous slur. The Daily Mail should be ashamed of this blatant xenophobia. Filipino staff have contributed hugely to UK healthcare and deserve our gratitude and respect.

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  • the daily mail despises all nurses

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  • many nursing homes/hospitals need sorted bigtime irrespective of the nationality of the nurses but any nurse not registered with the NMC should not be allowed to be employed by care homes on a bank/agency basis or any other basis as home owners/CCGs looking to cut care costs can too easily bully them into substandard practices or they don't get to work.
    A murderer is a murderer whatever the nationality or status. Daily Mail? Does anyone read that rag?

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  • News headlines rarely declare great news and this has certainly held true for the behaviour of some elements of the press when providing wider commentary on the Victorino Chua case.
    I am horrified at his actions and deeply saddened by the impact that his heinous crimes have had on patients. The news headlines of one particular paper appears rapacious in its desire to label all Filipino nurses with the same brush as Victorino Chua.
    My personal experience strongly suggests that he was the exception and not the rule. Like the overwhelming majority of all nurses, hard work, compassion, dedication and skill and the absolute desire to serve our patients and communities to the very best of our abilities are what typically characterises Filipino nurses. I would like to commend all the diligent, dedicated and committed nurses from the Philippines and other shores working on the frontline in the NHS and other healthcare areas, without which this country would not be able to maintain the workforce.
    It is unfair, unreasonable and discriminatory to stigmatise and vilify all Filipino nurses on the basis of the heinous crime committed by one nurse from the Philippines who it was alleged may not be a qualified nurse. All Filipino nurses cannot be labelled and used as a scapegoat as a result of one person's actions.

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  • good work by these nurses and rightly so ...however I would like to know why they are cheaper, are they employed on different terms and conditions to other NHS nurses if so is this legal? or has a specific job/title been created to get around paying them less?

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  • re the above if the NHS is purposely recruiting nurses from the Philippines because they are Filipino and by default cheaper is the NHS then guilty of discriminatory practice itself?

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