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POEA bans deployment of health-care workers


To help ensure the country will have sufficient medical workers during the novel coronavirus disease (Covid-19) crisis, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has temporarily stopped the deployment abroad of some categories of Filipino health-care workers.

In its Resolution 9-2020, the POEA Governing Board (GB) said it has included 14 occupations in mission critical skills (MCS).

MCS are skills which are deemed absolute and necessary for the industry; takes a long time to produce; and cannot be easily replaced.

The new resolution covers the following occupations: medical doctor/physician; nurses; microbiologist; medical technologists; clinical analysts; respiratory therapists; pharmacists; laboratory technician; radiologic technician; nursing assistant/aid; operator of medical equipment; supervisor of health services and personal care; repairman of medical-hospital equipment.

“The deployment of health-care workers included in the list above hereby temporarily suspended until the national state of emergency [NSE] is lifted and until Covid-19 related travel restrictions are lifted at the destination countries,” the POEA GB said in its latest three-page issuance.

The issuance was signed on April 2, 2020.

POEA also temporarily suspended bilateral labor agreements for government-to-government deployment of health-care workers until the NSE is lifted.

It said the measure aims to prevent the worsening of the “shortage” of health workers in the country.

Citing data from the World Health Organization, POEA said the country has a shortage of about 290,000 health workers, which could be aggravated by the average annual migration of 13,000 Filipino health workers.

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