Belfast, capital of Northern Ireland. Photo: iStock

Hospitals in Northern Ireland are planning to recruit more than 600 nurses from the Philippines and India. About 622 will be recruited, mainly from the Philippines, by 2020, News Letter reported.

The United Kingdom’s National Health Service said there was a shortage of nurses because recruitment of undergraduates has not kept up with demand.

Charlotte McArdle, Northern Ireland’s chief nursing officer, said there was a shortage of 1,500 nurses in the province and the lack of qualified nurses already in the country prompted the call for recruitment overseas.

McArdle said the first band of new UK-trained nurses would not complete their university qualifications until 2019. She said the overseas recruitment was intended be an interim measure for the difficult years ahead.

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