Japan is vowing to improve the employment system for foreign health workers in order to entice more Filipino nurses and caregivers to the country. This was the statement made by Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida on Thursday during his visit to the Philippines as part of his Asia-Pacific tour this week.
Kishida, after a bilateral meeting with Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) secretary Albert del Rosario, said that the endeavor is part of the economic cooperation between the two countries. No details have so far been given, but DFA spokesperson Raul Hernandez says that it will help hasten the hiring of Filipino nurses and caregivers in Japan. Under the Japan-Philippine Economic Partnership Agreement, the Philippines has started sending nurses and caregivers to Japan in 2009, but due to very strict licensure exams, only 15 nurses and one caregiver have passed. In 2010, Japan modified the content of the exam, making use of English medical terms and simpler Japanese words to make it easier for foreign applicants. As a result, as of May 2012, 237 nurses and 396 caregivers from the Philippines are undergoing training in Japan, according to numbers from the Japanese Embassy.
Foreign health workers in Japan have to undergo a stringent process in order to get employed, starting with the licensure exam that they are allowed to retake only within their prescribed period of stay in the country. After passing that, they will take six months of paid language training as well as training in Japanese hospitals and facilities for three years for nurses and four years for caregivers. But the training period itself is somewhat profitable, as nurses are given a monthly salary of 130,000 to 220,000 yen (US$1,470 to US$2,490) while caregivers receive 125,000 to 185,000 yen (US$1,410 to US$2,090) per month.
[ via GMA Network ]