The Philippines are raising the limit on medical professionals going overseas



Filipino workers, including nurses applying for work in the UK, attend a lecture at an International English Language Testing System or IELTS review center in Manila, the Philippines, April 2, 2019. Image dated April 2, 2019. REUTERS / Eloisa Lopez / File Photo

MANILA, June 18 (Reuters) – The Philippines has increased the number of nurses and health care workers allowed to go abroad annually to 6,500, a senior official said Friday amid high demand for health workers.

The Philippines, one of the world’s largest sources for nurses, hit its annual limit of 5,000 health worker deployments late last month.

May people with contracts abroad can take up employment, President spokesman Harry Roque said in a statement. This means that, according to the Ministry of Labor, another 1,500 nurses and health workers can work abroad.

The labor minister said Wednesday he would seek approval to post 5,000 more healthcare workers overseas, but a group of nurses said there was much more than that in hopes of finding better paid jobs overseas .

Healthcare workers under intergovernmental contracts, such as the one with the UK, are exempt from the new limit.

Approximately 17,000 Filipino nurses signed employment contracts overseas in 2019, but the Philippines temporarily suspended them in 2020 to bolster their healthcare sector as coronavirus hospital admissions soared.

Jocelyn Andamo, general secretary of Filipino Nurses United, said the additional 1,500 were frustrating.

“This is very unrealistic compared to the enormous need for nurses,” she said.

Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales; Editing by Martin Petty

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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