German Ambassador to the Philippines Anke Reiffenstuel on Tuesday denied reports that the European countries were pirating Filipino nursing students to address the region’s huge demand for health care workers.
In a statement posted on Twitter, Reiffenstuel clarified that United Kingdom (UK) and Germany were actively recruiting and offering “attractive packages” to Filipino nursing students, even those in their second year of college.
“Germany is not pirating PH students! (Germany) works closely with (Philippine) schools, colleges & agencies in our recruitment efforts,” Reiffenstuel said.
“(Germany) offers good salaries, social services & upskilling for (Filipino) HCWs (health care workers). The – (Germany-Philippine) Triple Win Program is a big success! #germanyinphl @GIZ_Philippines,” the envoy added.
Her tweets came after Vilma Garcia, De La Salle University Medical Center employees’ union president, said that the UK and Germany have been offering second year nursing students a chance to continue their studies in Europe by providing for their tuition and lodging.
After completing their course, the Filipino nursing students will be employed by hospitals in the UK and Germany, and given an opportunity to bring their families there.
Garcia claimed that about one-fourth of their nursing students have accepted the offer, which would potentially worsen the shortage of qualified personnel in Philippine hospitals.
However, Reiffenstuel stressed that recruitment of Filipino nurses goes through the Triple Win Program, which started in 2013 after Germany’s Federal Employment Agency (BA) and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) signed a bilateral agreement.
Under the accord, the BA’s Inte national Placement Services (ZAV) is tasked to look for hospital employers willing to support Filipino candidates.
The German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), on the other hand, helps in preparing the nurses to be deployed by providing integration services and monitoring of candidates onsite.