Bello inclined to exempt UK from cap on deployment of healthcare workers
FILE - Healthcare workers wave to residents of an adjacent condominium who showed support to frontliners.
The STAR/Edd Gumban

Bello inclined to exempt UK from cap on deployment of healthcare workers

(Philstar.com) - March 3, 2021 - 10:10am

MANILA, Philippines — Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III said Wednesday that he is inclined to exempt the United Kingdom from the cap being imposed by the Philippine government on the deployment of healthcare workers abroad.

“I am inclined to recommend their request for exemption, but I said I have to convince the Department of Health and also the Inter-Agency Task Force [for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases,]” Bello told ANC’s Headstart.

He added that his recommendation would largely depend on how many nurses are in the Philippines, which he said would be relayed to him by the Philippine Nurses Association.

“I want to be very sure that if we are going to allow the exemption, we will not run out of nurses in our country,” he said.

President Rodrigo Duterte previously imposed a ban on the deployment of health workers to avoid a shortage of frontline medical workers in the Philippines. 

This was lifted in November, but the government is only allowing 5,000 healthcare workers to leave the country.

The UK, among the countries hardest-hit by the pandemic, has asked to be exempted from this cap, but the Philippines set some conditions for this to happen.

Among these conditions is for the nurses who would be deployed to the UK to first be vaccinated against COVID-19.

“I just want to be sure that if we’re going to deploy nurses, they must be vaccinated for their protection and the protection of people in the UK,” Bello said. — Xave Gregorio

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