Latest batch of Filipino nurses arrives in Austria
More Filipino nurses are trying their luck in Austria, another European country that is actively hiring nurses from the Philippines amid a global shortage of healthcare workers.
The latest batch of 28 Filipino nurses arrived last week in Burgenland, a state in eastern Austria, according to LRC Manpower Services International Inc.
Like previous batches since the deployment of Filipino nurses to Austria resumed recently, the new arrivals will need to hurdle a six-month German language course and pass the country’s nursing board exam.
In the meantime, the newly arrived Filipino nurses will be assigned auxiliary work in the hospital, for which they will receive a monthly salary of 1,200 euros, equivalent to about P73,120, according to Ma. Lourdes Capua, president of LRC.
Wages, work conditions
Once they have obtained a language certification and passed the Austrian nursing board exams, they would receive a monthly salary of 2,600 euros, equivalent to about P156,000, for a two-year contract with 15 days annual leave, said Capua.
She said the hospital would shoulder the Filipino nurses’ full board and accommodation.
All deployment expenses were covered by the employer, except the passports and medical exams of the applicant, according to Capua.
A next batch of 20 Filipino nurses would depart for Burgenland in the next few weeks, she added.
According to the Filipino Nursing Diaspora Network, an organization of Filipino nurses based abroad, at least 35,000 Filipino nurses work in Europe.
Nearly 80 percent of them, or 28,000, are working in the United Kingdom while the rest are in Germany, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Belgium, the Netherlands, Ireland, and Spain.
Amid the global shortfall of healthcare workers exacerbated by the pandemic, the Philippines is facing the same crisis as overworked and underpaid Filipino nurses are drawn to better wages and work conditions abroad.
In July, the Philippine Embassy in Austria signed a bilateral labor agreement with officials in the capital of Vienna for the deployment of Filipino nurses.
The last bilateral labor agreement for nurses was signed in 1973, which led to the deployment of hundreds of Filipino nurses in hospitals in Vienna until the deployment stopped in the late 1980s. INQ