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Filipino health carers can work overseas again after travel ban lifted

Manila: Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has approved ending a ban on deploying the nation’s healthcare workers, his labour minister said on Saturday, clearing the way for thousands of nurses to take up jobs overseas.

“The President already approved the lifting of the temporary suspension of deployment of nurses and other medical workers,” Labour Secretary Silvestre Bello said.

The Philippines is a major global supplier of English-speaking nurses. It is the second main source country of international nursing graduates to Australia after the United Kingdom/Ireland, according to a 2012 report by Griffith University authors for Asia-Pacific Journal of Health Management.

School nurse Ethel Lydia Matias of the Philippines, left, helps fellow Filipina nurse Quenie Pabalate put on protective gear in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

School nurse Ethel Lydia Matias of the Philippines, left, helps fellow Filipina nurse Quenie Pabalate put on protective gear in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.Credit:AP

To ensure the Philippines, which has the second-highest number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in South-east Asia, will have enough medical professionals to fight the pandemic, only 5000 healthcare workers will be allowed to leave every year.

Reuters, staff writers

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