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Filipino nurses still welcome in New Zealand - DFA

May 7, 2009 3:44pm
MANILA, Philippines — Despite reports of discrimination, Filipino nurses are still welcome to work in New Zealand, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Thursday.

An article on the DFA website (www.dfa.gov.ph) said the assurance came from officials of the New Zealand Nursing Council led by Chief Executive Carolyn Reed and Registration Manager Andrea McCance.

The council executives met with Director J. Susana Paez of the DFA’s Asian and Pacific Affairs, Director Eric Gerardo Tamayo of the Office of the Undersecretary for International Economic Relations, as well Dr. Teresita Barcelo, president of the Philippine Colleges of Nursing (ADPCN).

During the meeting, they expressed regret at the confusion brought about by "erroneous" media reporting which questioned the competence of Filipino nurses.

According to the DFA, Reed said the remarks were made by other parties who are not connected with the New Zealand Nursing Council or the New Zealand government.

The executives also met separately with officials of the Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC) and the Commission on Higher Education (CHED).

Philippine Ambassador to New Zealand Bienvenido Tejano suggested the visit in response to the council’s expression of desire to undertake consultations with their Philippine counterparts, the DFA report said.

Filipinos constitute the second largest number of foreign nurses in New Zealand, with about 200 nurses registered every year.

McCance stressed that the Nursing Council has been making it less complicated for qualified foreign nurses to come to New Zealand.

Steps they have taken include providing complete information in its website and staggering the completion requirement of completing seven bands under the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) which include the option of taking the IELTS in the country of origin.


Low failure rate

Also, the Council officials cited a very low failure rate in the required competency assessment program, and observed that Filipino nurse candidates are able to successfully hurdle the prescribed bridging program.

The Nursing Council clarified that the issuance of residency visas is beyond the scope of their work, but a foreign nurse registered with them will present such registration in support of a separate proper residency status application with New Zealand immigration authorities.

It also encourages direct applications rather than coursing registration via recruitment agencies.

Meanwhile, the visiting council representatives were briefed on the role of the Philippine Nurses Association (PNA) and presented the Philippines’ Bachelor of Science in Nursing curriculum and the educational standards for registered nurses in the Philippines.

Reed said the meetings facilitated their understanding of the Philippine nursing program for purposes of matching course requirements.

The DFA encouraged the Nursing Council, PNA and ADPCN to pursue and adopt a practice done with other countries of having school registrars identify and match subjects with foreign government requirements on the applicant’s transcript of records.

This would also facilitate the evaluation of individuals who will practice nursing in New Zealand and that they are indeed International Qualified Nurses (IQN) suitable for the country’s healthcare standards.

"The meeting’s outcome assures an open line of communication between the council and the nurses sector in the Philippines, and augurs well for better opportunities for Filipino nurses and the adoption of relevant programs to further uplift the nursing profession in the country," the DFA said. - GMANews.TV
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