DOLE eyes raising overseas deployment cap of nurses, health workers

With the increasing demand for Filipino nurses worldwide, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is now keen on allowing more healthcare workers to work overseas. 

Secretary Silvestre Bello III said on Saturday that they are continuously assessing the possible increase in the annual deployment cap of health care workers (HCWs) abroad, including nurses. 

The regular assessment is in response to countries that are asking for Filipino nurses.

“Germany alone is asking for 15,000 nurses. That's how in demand our HCWs but we have to be very sure that when we send our medical workers, we also have sufficient workers in the country which is just right for our medical needs or else I’ll be answerable to President Rodrigo Duterte, if we run out of nurses,” the DOLE chief said in a radio interview. 

The Philippines Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) reported that there are less than 900 left in the 6,500 limit. 

Previously, Bello said that he wanted eadditional 1,500 HCWs are on top of the 1,500 earlier approved by the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID). 

“Only 1,500 because I know from my experience when I recommended 5,000, they only accommodated 1,500. So as not to make it difficult for the IATF, I just recommended 1,500. All in consultation with the Philippine Nurses Association,” he said in a virtual forum on Monday. 

Originally, the cap approved by the IATF-EID was 5,000, set in January 2021. 

Bello appealed for an increase while Germany’s request to be exempted from the deployment limit is pending. (via PNA)

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