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Nurses from Philippines enter Austria’s healthcare system for the first time

THE efforts of private recruitment agencies to explore new labor markets especially in Europe have paid off, with the entry of Filipino nurses into Austria, a country surrounded by Germany and other European countries.

In a forum, Ma. Lourdes Capua, president and general manager of the LRC Manpower Services, International, Inc. said that 28 Filipino men and women nurses arrived in Burgenland Austria, one of the nine federations comprising the country of Austria.

Capua said that this is the first deployment of Filipino nurses to Austria as confirmed by the Austrian Embassy in Manila and that the said nurses will perform auxiliary work while studying German language courses which is the national dialect in Austria. They will receive EU 1200 or P73,120 during their German Language studies.

After six or seven months, the pay will be increased to 2600 EU or P156,000 upon obtaining a ‘Language Certification’ and passing the Austrian Nursing Board Exams.

Full board and accommodation will be shouldered by the hospital and the contract is for two years, with 15 days annual leave each year, even as all expenses for the deployment of the Filipino nurses were covered by the employer except the passports and medical exams of the applicant.

In his latest post dated August 10, 2023, Jerome Barbate, executive director of the Filipino Nursing Diaspora Network, estimates that there are at least 35,000 Filipino nurses in Europe.

Nearly 80 percent of them are in the UK, which is no longer an EU member and almost all of them intend to stay long term. The other twenty percent meanwhile, are scattered in Germany with around 2,000 under a government-to-government arrangement with the POEA/DMW, Baltic states of Denmark, Finland and Sweden and other EU countries like Belgium, Holland, Ireland and Spain.

Burgenland State Governor Hans Doskozil welcomed the Filipino nurses on their arrival and said that his state will need more than 1,700 by 2030 and that the initial batch from the Philippines will help in the health system of Burgenland. A second batch of 20 more nurses is expected to depart for Burgenland in the next few weeks, it was learned.

Itchie G. Cabayan
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