103 nurses, caregivers off to Japan

MANILA -- A total of 103 Filipino nurses and caregivers are headed to Japan to undergo training in Japanese hospitals and care facilities, according to the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole).

According to Dole Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz, the date of departure is just missing as the Japanese Government has yet to determine it but 75 caregivers and 28 nurses are already set to make up the fourth batch of Filipino workers to be deployed under the Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA).

“This development means more Filipino nurses and caregivers will be given the opportunity to become licensed nurses and care workers in Japan and to possibly practice their profession in that country," Baldoz said in a statement.

The third batch had a higher number after it sent 82 candidate nurses and 60 candidate caregivers last year.

It was back in 2009 when the Philippines and Japan had entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the training and employment of candidate Filipino nurses and caregivers in Japanese health care facilities under JPEPA.

Under the treaty, qualified candidate nurses and caregivers just need to complete six-month Japanese language training in Japan and undertake on-the-job training at their respective hospitals.

Nurses should also be able to pass the licensure examination in Japan before they can work as registered nurses and are given three chances to take the licensure examination.

Caregivers, on the other hand, are required to complete at least three years on-the-job training before they can take the national examination for caregivers and work in Japan for an indefinite period after passing the examination.

Fully qualified nurses and certified caregivers, after passing the Japanese national licensure examination, shall be given the option to stay for an unlimited period in Japan to practice their profession based on new and upgraded employment contracts with their employer.

On the other hand, 80 percent of those who will not pass the licensure examination shall be allowed them to stay for another year and retake the examination, provided they obtain a score of at least 100, or 50 percent of the passing score of 203.

The fourth batch’s composition comes after the report of the passing of 13 Filipino nurses in the 2012 Japan National Licensure Examination for Nurses, which brings to 15 the number of passers from the Philippines since 2010. (HDT)

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