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Sunday, December 14, 2008

Retrogression Update: United Kingdom has re-opened its doors to Filipino nurses

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By Mayen Jaymalin Updated December 05, 2008 12:00 AM

Here’s good news for the growing number of jobless Filipino nurses.

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) reported yesterday (Dec. 4) that the United Kingdom has re-opened its doors to Filipino nurses.

“After a lull of over a year, the United Kingdom is again hiring Filipino nurses,” Labor Secretary Marianito Roque said in an interview.

Roque said an initial batch of 160 Filipinos would be deployed to various hospitals and retirement homes in Britain.

Over a year ago, the United Kingdom adopted stricter regulations in the hiring of foreign nurses, thus virtually closing the door for the employment of Filipino nurses there.

“For a while there has been no vacancy for Filipino nurses in UK, but because of the aging population there, they realized they need our Filipino nurses to take care of them,” Roque noted.

Roque expressed confidence that the recruitment of 160 Filipino nurses in UK signals the start of growth in demand for Filipino nurses worldwide.

“We hope that more Filipino nurses will be recruited to work in UK and other countries abroad,” Roque said.

The Philippine Nursing Association reported that the country is now experiencing a surplus of Filipino nurses due to the declining demand in the United States.

Roque had previously ordered a dialogue with all the stakeholders at the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA) office to determine the real situation of the country’s nursing sector.

He said DOLE conducted the dialogue to determine whether there is really a shortage or a surplus of nurses so that the government could come out with appropriate measures.

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