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Pinoy Abroad

Japan eyes more Filipino nurses, caregivers

January 10, 2013 1:00pm

Tags: Japan
Visiting Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida on Thursday said Japan will be accepting more Filipino nurses and caregivers as part of Manila and Tokyo’s efforts to expand bilateral economic cooperation.

“On the economic front, we agreed to advance cooperation in…accepting Filipino nurses and caregivers in Japan,” Fishida said in his remarks at the Department of Foreign Affairs following his bilateral meeting with Philippine counterpart Albert del Rosario.

Fishida did not give further details but Foreign Affairs spokesman Raul Hernandez, in a separate interview, said the new initiative is expected to “hasten the employment of nurses and caregivers in Japan.”

“Details on this are still being discussed,” Hernandez told reporters.

Since the Philippines started deploying health workers to Japan in 2009 under the Japan-Philippine Economic Partnership Agreement, only 15 nurses and one caregiver have passed the stringent Japanese licensure exams.

Citing May 2012 figures, the Japanese Embassy said 237 Filipino nurses and 396 caregivers have undergone training in Japan.

Japan has vowed to take steps to improve the employment scheme for foreign health workers to attract more Filipinos in seeking employment opportunities in Japan .

The Japanese government said it has introduced “improvements” in the licensure exams by incorporating English medical terms and using simpler Japanese words to make it “more passable” for foreign applicants.  Japan modified the content of its exam in 2010.

Those who will fail the licensure tests in Japan can only re-take the exam within their prescribed period of stay.

If after several tries they still fail the examination, they would have to return to the Philippines and re-apply again for training until they become qualified and licensed health workers in Japan .

Apart from the six months of paid language training, Filipino nurses and caregivers subsequently work in Japanese hospitals and caregiving facilities, for three years and four years, respectively, to help themselves become more familiar with the Japanese healthcare system.

During that time, nurses undergoing work-training receive an average monthly salary of 130,000 yen to 220,000 yen or roughly P66,000 and P113,000 in local currency. For caregivers, the monthly wage ranges from 125,000 yen to 185,000 yen or P64,000 and P95,000. - Michaela del Callar, VVP, GMA News
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Tags: Japan

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