Through Japan and the Philippines’ bilateral agreement, assistance to Filipino health workers has become more favourable. More than 100 Filipinos made up the latest group of health workers who departed on Wednesday. A total of 64 nurses and 80 caregivers have now embarked on medical training in Japan.
The Japan-Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement has been amended to provide better chances for Filipino health workers pass the Japanese licensure examination and be employed in Japan. The JLPT, or Japanese-Language Proficiency Test, had caused a lot of health workers not to make the Japanese licensure exam. In May 2012, 237 nurses and 396 caregivers left for Japan to undergo medical training. However, only 25 nurses and 43 caregivers passed the licensure exam. With the new agreement of Japan and the Philippines, health workers are required to take 6 months of Japanese language studies before leaving. Since 2011, the Japan Foundation-Manila also provides 3 months of pre-training for the health workers.
Once the Japanese language course is completed, the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) can release the health workers to start attending a six-month medical training provided by health institutions in Japan. The Japanese licensure examination has also allowed the use of English for some medical terms, especially those that are considered highly technical. Filipino health workers usually use English in reference to most medical terms, from assessment to evaluation especially when it comes to diagnoses.