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Bello rejects rumors of end to nurse deployment ban

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The Philippines’ healthcare system is already short-handed. In Germany there are 430 doctors and nurses per 10,000 people; in the United States, 337; and in Britain, 254, International Labour Organization data shows. The Philippines—where the coronavirus death rate is one of the highest in Southeast Asia—has 65.

The deployment ban on health care workers remains in place, contrary to reports that the ban has been lifted, the Department of Labor and Employment (DoLE) said Friday.

“The ban imposed on the deployment of nurses stays,” Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III said in a statement.

Reports that the government has lifted restrictions on sending health care workers overseas are “totally untrue,” Mr. Bello said.

The ban was implemented via Governing Board Resolution No. 9, adopted by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) in April.

This follows an Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) ruling ordering that the government seek to ensure the adequacy of health care worker numbers as the country grapples with the pandemic.

“The public is hereby warned that any overseas deployment of nurses, unless express authorized by the POEA, is deemed illegal,” he said.

Also covered by the ban are microbiologists, molecular biologists, medical technologists, clinical analysts, respiratory therapists, pharmacists, laboratory and X-ray technicians, nursing aides, medical equipment operators, health supervisors and hospital equipment repair personnel.

The POEA also suspended negotiations for government-to-government deployment of health workers. — Charmaine A. Tadalan





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