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POEA Warns Against ‘Ghost’ Hospitals Abroad

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) warned on Tuesday graduates of medical courses against illegal recruiters offering jobs in fictitious hospitals abroad. POEA Jennifer Jardin-Manalili said the agency had received various reports regarding the illegal recruitment of medical professionals and skilled workers for fictitious hospitals in Guam, Israel, and even Switzerland. "Medical students, graduates and practitioners seem to be the favorite targets of employment scammers," Manalili said.

The Philippine Embassy in Berne has verified that a certain Semino Private Hospital, which has been touted to have a student program and has offered internship jobs in Switzerland by email, does not exist, according to Manalili. Some applicants told the embassy that Semino has been recruiting medical students through e-mail and offering substantial allowances to lure victims. However, Semino Private Hospital is not in the list of hospitals in the Canton of Vaud and is not familiar to residents there. The hospital also has no listed telephone number in Switzerland, according to the Philippine Embassy. And while the Semino Private Hospital created a "mock" website, www.seminohospital.com, the website has been traced to Nigeria, the embassy added. In its website, Semino claims that it shares the same address with Clinique Cecil, a prestigious hospital at Avenue Ruchonnet 53, CH -1003 Lausanne, Switzerland.

In Israel, Labor Attaché Merriam C. Cuasay reported that unscrupulous recruiters were offering nursing jobs for the “Jordan Valley Medical Center.” However, no such hospital exists, Cuasay’s office has learned. Israel also has job openings for home-based recruiters but not for nurses, according to the POEA.

The Consul General in Agana, Guam has also alerted the POEA of a fake hospital on the island, the “Guam General Hospital.” The supposed hospital has created a website - www.guamgeneralhospital.com - which has been soliciting applications for employment as nurses, the POEA said. It added that another website - www.westernpacifichospital.com - was recently discovered and had the same content as that of www.guamgeneralhospital.com.

"This online scam is now being investigated by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation," the POEA said. It added that there was only one hospital in Guam, the Guam Memorial Hospital (GMH).