Iraq requesting for 2,000 Filipino doctors, nurses, but security issues remain – DOH


Health Secretary Enrique Ona

MANILA, Philippines — Iraq has been requesting for some 2,000 Filipino doctors and nurses for the past two years, but questions on security in the war-torn Middle Eastern country have persisted, Health Secretary Enrique Ona said on Monday.

In a press briefing, Ona said he was expecting the Iraqi ambassador to Manila, Dr. Wadee Al-Batti, to meet with him and seek permission to hire some “1,000 to 2,000 doctors, specialists and health workers from the Philippines.”

“They want as many nurses as we can give them… [but] we also want to be sure of (their) safety,” he added.

While the Department of Health was not totally turning down the request, Ona said the DOH would have to coordinate with the Department of Foreign Affairs, which has been enforcing a deployment ban in some parts of Iraq.

Early this year, the government lifted an eight-year ban on Filipino workers in Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region.

The DOH has also received similar requests for Filipino health workers from Holland, Africa and Barbados, Ona said.

Dr. Rustico Jimenez, president of the Private Hospital Association of the Philippines, said that “India has also reiterated its need for 200,000 Filipino nurses…but (our nurses) don’t want to go to India.”

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  • MDV16

    Nurse ako sa Abu Dhabi ngayon at pinakita ko ito sa kasamahang kong Indian, ngayon daw may strike ang mga nurses sa Kerala, India dahil mababa sweldo. Bkit tayo pupunta dun kung mismong nurses nila ayaw sa system nila.

    • batangpaslit

      MD…i appreciate what you said. In 2000 I recruited 200 Nurses. I even worked out their settlement fund of $5000.00.
      Ngaon, they are now very stable in their respective positions.

  • wakeupbayan

    I salute many OFW`s anywhere in the world.  Its okey to go to middle east to work.  Mga die hard wish ng OFW to work in the middle east,,, but I do not agree that our government should shoulder repatriation when caught in any conflict in war infested arab countries. They are fully aware of the situation and if they are adamant to go regardless,,, a waiver should be signed by all going to any middle east war torn states that they must find their way out/home when such events comes up. The worst is the current issues about the blood money.  WRONG,,,,, ABSOLUTELY WRONG. SORRY I ONLY EXPRESS MY OPINION.

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