Philippines offers nurses to Britain and Germany in exchange for Covid-19 vaccines

The Philippines will allow thousands of its healthcare workers, mostly nurses, to take jobs in Britain and Germany if the two countries agree to donate much-needed ones coronavirus vaccinessaid an official on Tuesday.

The Philippines, which is among the Asian countries with the most coronavirus cases, relaxed the ban on sending its healthcare workers abroad, but still limits the number of medical professionals leaving the country to 5,000 a year.

Alice Visperas, director of the international affairs office of the Labor Ministry, indicated that the country was willing to lift the limit in exchange for vaccines from Great Britain and Germany, to inoculate outgoing workers and hundreds of thousands of Filipino returnees.

Nurses are among the millions of Filipinos working abroad, providing more than $ 30 billion a year in vital remittances to the country’s economy.

We are considering the request to lift the deployment limit, subject to an agreement, “Visperas told Reuters.

Britain grapples with the sixth highest number of deaths from coronavirus in the world and one of the worst economic impacts of the pandemic, while Germany has the 10th place with the most infections globally.

While the two countries have inoculated a total of 23 million people, the Philippines has yet to begin its campaign to immunize 70 million adults, or two-thirds of its 108 million inhabitants. He expects to receive his first batch of vaccines this week, donated by China.

The Philippines wants to secure 148 million doses of vaccines in total.

The British embassy in Manila did not immediately respond to a request for comment, while calls to the German mission went unanswered.

In 2019, nearly 17,000 Filipino nurses signed employment contracts abroad, government data showed.

While Philippine nurses have fought to lift the deployment ban to escape poor working conditions and low wages in their nation, the workers-by-vaccine scheme has not sat well with some medical workers.

“We are displeased with how nurses and healthcare workers are being treated by the government as raw materials or export products,” Jocelyn Andamo, secretary general of Filipino Nurses United, told Reuters.

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