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Major EU grant for Philippines healthcare training

Nursing schools get 2m euro boost

Major EU grant for Philippines healthcare training
Filipina nurses (Photo by Buck Pago) reporter, Manila

May 7, 2013

The European Union on Tuesday announced the provision of a 2 million euro grant which it says will go towards balancing its need to hire more Filipino healthcare workers while improving the quality of nursing schools in the Philippines.

The grant aims to assist the International Labor Organization in promoting "safe, ethical and decent migration" of healthcare professionals from the Philippines.

Catherine Vaillancourt-Laflamme, chief technical advisor for the EU’s Decent Work Across Borders project, said the EU aims to establish a system where receiving countries hire Filipino healthcare workers in exchange for assistance to improve the quality of nursing education in the Philippines.

"The situation in the Philippines is [that] there is no real shortage of healthcare professionals. But those who migrate have the best experience. There is no shortage in numbers but there is shortage in terms of skills,” said Vaillancourt-Laflamme.

Healthcare workers deployed in Europe tend to stay in host countries permanently, unlike those hired in Gulf countries who are deployed for a term of two to three years.

Some 12,000 Filipino nurses leave for high paying jobs overseas every year.

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