DOLE eyes to tap over 4,000 former overseas nurses in fight vs COVID-19
MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) is looking to tap over 4,000 former overseas nurses who have returned to the Philippines in a bid to augment the current health workforce in the country.
Former Labor Secretary and now DOLE consultant Marianito Roque said in an online press briefing on Wednesday that most of the 4,610 nurses have returned home after their clinics abroad have closed. He added that most of the nurses have come from the Middle East.
Roque said they learned about the over 4,000 nurses who are now in the Philippines while checking the registry of DOLE’s OFW Assistance Information System (OASIS), which so far contains the names of around 800,000 OFWs who have returned to the country or those who have lost their jobs but are still abroad.
Roque said that of the initial 200 nurses they have contacted, 70 have expressed willingness to temporarily work in the country.
He noted that based on this initial sampling, about 30 percent of the 4,000 nurses are willing to work locally.
“This could be the answer sa shortage sa nurses natin ngayon (to the shortage of nurses we are now facing),” he said.
Roque also said that the nurses could help beef up the capacity of hospitals with limited healthcare workers.
He added that the DOLE will coordinate with health associations to identify the demand for nurses and the availability of OFWs who have returned to the country and are willing to take up local jobs.
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