Accord sought with countries recruiting Filipino nurses

By Madel R. Sabater
Former Health Secretary Dr. Jaime Galvez Tan has urged the government to ensure a win-win bilateral agreement with countries who take interest in hiring Filipino health professionals.

In his keynote speech during the 27th anniversary of the Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (PCHRD-DoST), Tan said there is a need for international support for ethical framework of recruitment, citing the high demand for Filipino nurses abroad.

“There should be win-win bilateral agreements to ensure an ethical recruitment (of Filipino health professionals),” he said.

This, Tan said, may be done by having a trust fund for health human resource development by the importing country.

“(The Philippine government) is forging now a joint or multi-country research data and action program on health human resource development among importing and exporting countries,” Tan said.

“This year, we hope to establish a Philippines-Canada, Philippines-Finland, and Philippines-Bahrain trust fund for human resource development,” he said, adding that these countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Philippine government as equity partners in International Health Care in 2007 to 2008.

Tan lamented that in Central Luzon alone, there are three towns in Bulacan and two in Pampanga that do not have a doctor. He added that in a visit to Samar, he found that some hospitals have already closed down due to lack of doctors in the area.

“Migration has moved to greater heights. This year, 50,000 nurses are predicted to migrate out of the country,” he said.

In the country’s agreement with Canada’s Saskatchewan province and Finland, Tan said for every 10 nurses, the importing country has agreed to improve the nursing center and for one Filipino nurse hired, three more nurses will be educated. Joint researches, linkages and graduate scholarships with their universities for improved research were also included in the agreement.

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