Labor exec says Germany needs 50,000 nurses now–but there’s a catch

Published March 15, 2021, 4:24 PM

by Ellson Quismorio

Germany will be a major market for Filipino nurses in the years to come.

Labor Attaché in Germany Delmer Cruz. Screengrab from Zoom

Philippine Labor Attaché in Germany, Delmer Cruz said in a virtual press briefing Monday, March 15 that the European nation has an “immediate need” for 50,000 nurses.

“As we speak now, ang kanilang pangangailangan ay 50,000. And ayon sa kanilang Ministry of Health (They have a need for 50,000 nurses. And according to their Ministry of Health) by the year 2025, it will increase to 150,000 and by 2030, 300,000. So ganun kalaki (So it’s that big),” Cruz said.

He clarified that the figures represent Germany’s “general” requirement for nurses, meaning it can be filled up by either locals or foreign recruits.

“Isang challenge dyan, kung may kakayanan ba on our side kung sapat ba ang nurses natin na pwede pang ma-deploy (One challenge is determining if we have enough nurses from our side that we can deploy). Ang remember Germany is just one of several countries na pinupuntahan ng ating mga nurses (that our nurses go to),” the veteran Labor Attaché said.

Last Feb. 25, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Sec. Silvestre Bello III estimated that the Philippines had 400,000 nurses Cruz said Filipino nurses may be recruited to work in Germany in two ways–via the government-to-government track (the so-called “Triple Win” program) and the private requirement track (through the agencies).

But theoretically, deployment of Filipino nurses to Germany can’t be ramped up unless Germany gets an exemption from the Philippine government’s deployment cap. Under the cap, the Philippines can only deploy 5,000 nurses abroad per year.

“Wala naman po tayong natanggap na request from Germany from their government to be exempted from the cap. Ang nakikita lang natin, patuloy yung kanilang recruitment and deployment through the Triple Win (We haven’t received any request from Germany from their government to be exempted from the cap. What we see is that recruitment and deployment through the Triple Win is ongoing),” Cruz said.

He bared that the target deployment under Triple Win this year is 1,000.

“Since January they have deployed more than 100 already. Maraming nasa pipeline ngayon, nag-uuunahan kasi sila doon sa 5,000-cap kaya binibilisan nung mga deploying agencies yung processing (There are a lot in the pipeline, they deploying agencies are all rushing to beat the 5,000-cap in terms of processing),” he said.