VIENNA – The new Philippine Ambassador to Austria, Evangelina “Luli” Arroyo-Bernas and team from the Embassy, led the historic signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in connection with the re-deployment of highly qualified Filipino nurses to Vienna, Austria.
On the Austrian side, only high-ranking officials of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Department of Health greeted the Philippine contingent. The signing was carried out at the office of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Austria.
“I am truly honoured to be one of the signatories of this Memorandum of Understanding on the recruitment of nurses from the Philippines, bringing together the Department of Migrant Workers of the Philippines, on the other hand, the city of Vienna and the Austrian Economic Chamber,” said Karl Heinz Kopf, Secretary General, Austrian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Kopf believes that the Memorandum of Agreement will further expand the relationship between the two countries, especially in the field of economics.
“Your attendance, excellencies underscores the significant potential of the collaboration between the Philippines and Austria especially regarding the labour market. I would like to express my heartfelt appreciation for your contributions. Thanks again for making this Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) possible, and I am looking forward to the first success for implementation toward sustainable, long-lasting cooperation in this field and also in the broader field,” Kopf added. Ambassador Arroyo-Bernas said the agreement will be successful because it will protect any compatriot who wants to work as a nurse or caregiver.
“It will allow our Filipino nurses to come to Vienna but under protection and with the proper program under the Department of Migrant Workers and the City of Vienna. We are very happy about this and there is also an initial interest of several hospitals here in Vienna, which is why we wanted to make sure that the Memorandum of Understanding will be implemented,” said Ambassador Evangelina Arroyo-Bernas, Philippine Ambassador to Austria.
In the early 1970s, the Philippines and Austria reached an agreement on the recruitment of health workers for the country.
Since then, the number of Filipino nurses and caregivers who have come to the country has been countless. The influx of nurses from other European countries interrupted the agreement between Austria and the Philippines in the late 80s.
Migrant Workers Undersecretary Patricia Yvonne Caunan is happy to expand the opportunities of Filipinos to go abroad.
“There is a lot of hope, but you can see cooperation from the other side and side of the Vienna government. We are not expecting this, our people are waiting for it, they have a lot of questions. It’s good and when I get home I can tell them that we are signing the MOU and that there will be more opportunities for our Filipino nurses,” Usec said. Patricia Yvonne Caunan, DMW.
It is not yet clear how many nurses and caregivers will be hired. It depends on the hospitals and the elderly. Currently, Austria needs 75,000 nurses.
The average starting salary of nurses ranges from 1,500 to 2,200 Euros or the equivalent of PHP 86,000 to PHP 120,000, after their training as health care and nursing assistants in Austria.
The requirements must be submitted to the nursing board and must have work experience as a nurse or caregiver.