Philippines allows more nurses, doctors to leave for jobs abroad

Filipino workers, including nurses applying to work in United Kingdom, attend a lecture at a review center for the International English Language Testing System or IELTS in Manila, Philippines, April 2, 2019. - Reuters

MANILA, June 18 (Bloomberg): The Philippines allowed more doctors and nurses to leave for overseas jobs, a week after the nation that’s among the world’s top suppliers of nurses halted deployment when it hit a self-imposed limit.

The Covid-19 task force raised the annual deployment cap for newly-hired health workers to 6, 500 from 5, 000, presidential spokesman Harry Roque said in a statement Friday.

The new ceiling is lower than the 10, 000 earlier proposed by the Labor Department. Health workers covered by the Philippines’ labour deals with other nations are exempted from the cap, Roque said, without naming specific countries.

The South-East Asian nation limited the deployment of health workers last year as it fights the region’s second-worst coronavirus outbreak.

Some 13, 000 nurses leave the Philippines for work abroad annually, according to industry estimates.

The Philippines' Department of Health (DOH) reported on Thursday (June 17)said there were 6,637 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the South-East Asian country, bringing the total tally to 1,339,457.

The death toll rose to 23,276 with 155 more deaths recorded from the coronavirus epidemic, the DOH said.

The Philippines, which has more than 110 million population, has tested more than 13 million people since the Covid-19 outbreak in January 2020 in the country. - Bloomberg

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