MANILA - The Philippines suspended the deployment of doctors, nurses and medical personnel overseas to maintain its frontline force against the COVID 19 pandemic, the Bureau of Foreign Employment Services said.
The ban is intended to "prioritize the allocation of human resources to the national health system at the time of national emergency," the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration said in a memorandum.
The moratorium took effect on 2 April, said Under Secretary of State for Civil Security and Consular Affairs Brigido Dulay.
The following workers are affected by the moratorium
- molecular biologist
- Medical Technologist
- Clinical analyst
- Respiratory therapist
- Laboratory Technician
- X-ray technician/radiologist
- Nursing Assistant/Nursing Aid
- Medical device operators
- Health and Personal Hygiene Supervisor
- Medical and Clinical Equipment Repairer
The Foreign Employment Authority Board also suspended negotiations on bilateral labour agreements for the deployment of health workers from one government to another "for the duration of the state of national emergency".
The ban on deployment will take effect "until COVID-19-related travel restrictions are lifted in destination countries," according to the resolution.
At least 252 health workers in the Philippines have signed a COVID-19 contract, 152 of whom are doctors and 63 nurses, the Health Department said Wednesday.
As of Thursday, the Philippines had counted 4,076 cases of COVID-19, including 203 deaths and 124 recoveries.