DOLE mulls another 1,500 increase in overseas deployment cap of nurses, HCWs

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) will consult again with stakeholders on the possibility of another increase in the deployment cap of healthcare workers (HCWs), including nurses.

In a virtual forum Monday, Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said he will seek the advice of other government agencies and groups of nurses regarding the request of sending medical workers abroad.

   

“Of course, before we decide, we will first consult the Professional Regulation Commission and then our Philippine Nurses Association and of course our Department of Health to find out if it is still safe to send nurses and health care workers abroad. When they say okay, we can add another 1,500,” he said. 

He reported that the 6,500 deployment cap for the year has been reached. 

At the same time, Bello said not covered by the limit are the 'balik manggagawa workers' and the United Kingdom (UK). 

“We stopped deploying nurses except for those returning workers and our health care workers who will be sent to the United Kingdom because the UK is exempted from the deployment cap of 6,500,” he added. 

Bello said he will also raise the matter at the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF) meeting on Wednesday. 

During the onset of the coronavirus pandemic last year, the government has set a 5,000 annual deployment cap with newly hired healthcare workers for mission-critical skills. 

The ceiling was raised to 6,500 in June this year amid calls for the government to allow more healthcare workers to be deployed overseas. (PNA)

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