There is still a high demand for Filipino nurses and doctors, especially in the Middle East, Europe, and Asia.
Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Enrique Ona said officials from Iraqi government have been personally seeking permission to hire around 2,000 Filipino nurses and doctors.
"I am expecting Iraqi ambassador to Manila (Dr. Wadee Al-Batti). They want as many nurses as we can give them," Ona said in a press conference.
"They have been asking for 1,000 to 2,000 doctors, specialists, and health workers from the Philippines in the last two years. But we have a problem on security there," he added.
The cabinet member explained the department has yet to give any kind of commitment to the Iraqi government, saying they still need to coordinate with the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).
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Since December 2011, the Philippine government has been observing deployment ban to some parts of Iraq as tensions resume with the withdrawal of American troops in the Middle Eastern country.
This is despite a declaration in May from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) saying Kurdistan as a safe destination for Filipino nurses and other skilled workersy.
Ona emphasized the government still needs to ensure security in the Middle Eastern country before committing to sending Filipino medical experts and health works.
But the Health secretary is also happy that the demand for Filipino doctors and nurses is still there.
He noted the department has also been receiving similar requests from countries like Holland, Barbados, and Africa.
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Private Hospital Association of the Philippines (PHAP) President Rustico Jimenez revealed that the Indian government has a demand of 200,000 Filipino nurses in India.
"During the last meeting of all hospitals in Asia, they have been asking for 200,000 nurses from us for two years," Jimenez said.
"But our nurses do not want to go to India," he added.
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