The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration said it would request the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases to increase the 5,000 cap on the deployment of nurses overseas.
POEA Administrator Bernard Olalia said the request is in anticipation that the limit on sending Filipino medical workers would be achieved next month.
“We are anticipating that in the near future, we’ll be able to reach the cap since many are looking to employ our nurses abroad. We don’t want to start the process when we (have) already reached it,” Olalia said in a virtual forum on Wednesday.
“That’s why we are getting ready. What’s important before we reach the limit is we already have a recommendation. We are anticipating. We will talk with our representative at the IATF,” he added.
Based on their assessment, he said, more than 3,000 nurses have already been employed overseas in the first five months of the year.
“Included in the cap are the new direct hires and agency hires. We have not reached the 5,000 cap. So far, over 3,000 have been deployed from January until today,” he said.
He noted that they do not yet have any exact figure to recommend to the task force.
“That is very fluid. We don’t know how many will be infected daily, how many projected capacity of the health care system,” he said. “We have to review that so that we will be able to give much attention on our needs as far as health workers are concerned before we respond to the needs of other countries.”
Olalia said most of the countries or the traditional market for the nursing profession have requested an increase – the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Saudi Arabia, and New Zealand, among others.*PNA