No hiring ban on Filipino nurses in UK

Date Posted: October 7th, 2006 12:00 AM

The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) today said that contrary to earlier news reports, the United Kingdom (UK), a major host country of overseas Filipino workers, has not imposed a ban on Filipino nurses notwithstanding the issuance of a new hiring policy that takes effect on August 14, 2006.

A report to Labor and Employment Secretary Arturo D. Brion by the London Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) clarified that under the new policy, UK employers intending to recruit nurses from abroad are first required to advertise in the UK their job vacancies particularly for "General Nurses," based on the UK's recent removal of the said category from its Shortage Occupation List.

"The UK employers, [including] both the National Health Service (NHS) or independent health providers, would have to satisfy first this resident labor market test before they can recruit nurses from abroad," Labor Attache Jainal T. Rasul said in the report.

Brion noted that a ban against Filipino nurses in the UK is non-existent first and foremost as the Filipino nurses performing a vital role in its health care system have helped, directly or indirectly, in the removal of the General Nurses from that country's current Shortage Occupation List.

The Labor Chief also noted the earlier pronouncement of the UK Health Minister, Lord Warner, that the change will make no difference to [foreign] nurses currently working in the UK.

"Thus there is no truth to reports that Filipinos have been displaced in the UK even as our POLO in London has confirmed that not a single Filipino nurse there has lost her job as a result of these developments," Brion said.

Despite the removal of the General Nurses from the shortage list, the UK has excluded the Specialist Nurses category from the new requirement imposed.

The Specialst category includes those nurses specialized in Audiology, Sleep/Respiratory Physiology, Neurophysiology, Cardiac Physiology, Operating Theater Nursing, Clinical Radiology, Pathology, and Critical Care.

Rasul quoted the projection of the UK's Royal College of Nursing that some 150,000 UK nurses are due to retire in the next five to 10 years, and foreign nurses are expected to continue to complement the UK's own nursing workforce into the future.

Rasul further said that aside from Specialist Nurses, there are other skills categories that remain in the UK's Shortage Occupation List and these are Midwives, Railway Engineers, Structural/Bridge Engineers, Transportation/Highway Engineers, CAA-Licensed Aircraft Engineers, Veterinary Surgeons, and others.

He said that currently, there are already some 40,000 Filipino nurses working in the UK's health care system, half of whom are already permanent residents or British citizens.

Source: Information and Publication Service

    Search Jobs
  • Phil-JobNet Logo