UAE relaxes visa rules on Filipino nurses

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has relaxed its policy on Filipino and other foreign nurses entering the country on visit visa.

Dr. Abdul Ghaffar Abdul Ghaffor, assistant undersecretary for Curative Medicine Department at the UAE Ministry of Health (MoH) said the decision to relax the policy is primarily to address the growing shortage of nurses in the country.

"We'll allow nurses on visit visas to sit in the nursing examination of the MoH, to take up jobs in the private sector," says Dr. Ghaffor.

He said both private and public hospitals in UEA are now beset with the shortage of nurses but he stressed that "the problem is more acute in the private sector."

Aside from allowing the entry of nurses using tourist visa to work in the private hospitals, the official said the ministry is also looking at reducing the number of years mandatory for expatriate nurses to serve at public institutes after their graduation.

"We are planning to reduce it (mandatory period of public service) to two years," he added.

At the moment, foreign nurses are provided free education at nursing institutes affiliated to the MoH, but they are required to serve for three years at one of the MoH-affiliated hospitals immediately upon completion of the study. - Marie Neri, GMANews.TV