More Share29 Filipino nurses can now apply for work at the United Arab Emirates online, as a shortage of nurses there has prompted it to set up an online recruitment system for such caregivers.
President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo recently issued Executive Order 835, directing the Philippine Labor department through the Professional Regulations Commission (PRC) to conduct Special Professional Licensure Board Examinations for qualified OFWs.
A report on UAE-based Khaleej Times said the UAE Ministry of Health now allows applicants to register for entry exams online rather than in person. Although the system allows applicants to register for exams from abroad, the candidate still has to appear to sit for the exam in person. A total of 23,000 nurses and midwives are currently working under the ministry of whom only 25 are men.
“We launched the new registration system on the ministry website six months ago, and we have been getting hundreds of applications everyday," said Dr Fatima Al Rifaee, Director of the Federal Nursing Department in the ministry.
Of the nurses working in UAE, 40 percent are from India, 30 percent Filipinos and the remaining 30 percent are local nurses and those coming from other Arab countries.
Local nurses comprise merely 4-7 per cent.
A UAE national nurse is paid around Dh6,000-7,000 (P77,674 to P90,620), while an expatriate nurse gets Dh4,000-5,000 (P51,783 to P64,729).
International standards require one nurse for every five patients, but UAE hospitals average one nurse for every 10.
Such a trend prompted the Ministry of Health to fuel recruitment from abroad by allowing applicants to register for the entry exams online.
But while the system allows applicants to register for exams from abroad, the candidate still has to appear to sit for the exam in person.
Some 23,000 nurses and midwives are currently working under the ministry of whom only 25 are men.
Recently, the ministry recruited 242 nurses for the school health departments in Dubai and the Northern Emirates on a war footing to manage H1N1 cases in schools.
The online system also aims at reducing burden on the customer service desk at the ministry.
“We had several people enquiring about the exams and the registration process daily," said Abdullah Nuaimi, Section Head of the Registration and Regulation Department at the ministry.
“Introduction of the website has streamlined this procedure," he added.
Candidates can take a suitable appointment online to register for the exams that take place five times a year except for the midwifery exam that is held once a year.
However, Nuaimi registration alone does not make a candidate eligible to sit for the exams.
“We have to verify forms, certificates and licences before the nurses are allowed to appear for the exams," said Nuaimi.
The ministry also holds exams for registered nurses and midwives in English while for practical nurses, the exams are held in both English and Arabic.
Also, the officials said that despite the huge number of nurses getting registered in the UAE, those actually taking up jobs are a few.
“Several countries readily accept UAE-registered nurses, so we are actually a kind of bouncing board," he said.
Low-salary structures, skyrocketing prices of basic commodities and the spiraling cost of housing are some reasons why many nurses opt to leave the UAE and take up jobs in the West.
Trends also showed nurses from the region migrate to the United States and European countries that offer family and immigrant visas From GMA News