Filipino nurses working in hospitals and nursing homes in Germany are generally happy, according to Germany’s Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH.
On behalf of the German Federal Employment Agency and with the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency (POEA) and other German and Philippine partners under the Triple Win Migration project, GIZ is the international development cooperation company of the German Government that supports the employment of Filipino nurses in German hospitals and nursing homes since 2013.
After the nurses’ adjustment phase in Germany, almost all of them stay, says GIZ.
The main reasons, of course, are the high pay and impressive benefits.
Nurses start working in Germany as nursing assistants, during which time they already earn a gross pay of 1,900 euros (117,000 pesos based on the current exchange rate). When they pass the German nurse recognition process, their pay rises. Aside from their pay, they enjoy the same benefits as German nurses, including 24-day vacation leaves, and health and social insurance.
Besides the pay and benefits, the nurses receive continued support from GIZ during their adjustment phase in Germany. GIZ assists them with finding accommodations, securing government and bank documents, connecting to peer groups and adjusting to the culture, and even, if the nurses desire, transferring them to another employer.
Another possible reason for the nurses’ satisfaction in Germany is the strict prohibition of discrimination under German law.
Philippine government agencies also look after the nurses’ welfare. The Department of Health, Philippine Regulation Commission, Board of Nursing, Commission on Higher Education, Public Services Labor Independent Confederation, and Department of Foreign Affairs meet annually with GIZ and POEA to plan how to make the project more competitive and rewarding for the nurses.
Many Filipino nurses have been choosing to work abroad since the oversupply of nursing graduates in the Philippines in 2011. The Triple Win project has sent close to 500 Filipino nurses to Germany and is continuing to increase this number to provide employment opportunities to more Filipino nurses.
While German employers have expressed a preference for Filipino nurses due to their warmth and compassion for their patients and their initiative, the deployment of Filipino nurses to Germany is still a process that requires stamina from the nurses as they need to complete German language training up to the third level and undergo recognition procedures before they can be sent to Germany. However, feedback from the Filipino nurses who made it to Germany show that in the end, the advantages far outweigh the effort.
Filipino nurses interested to work in Germany may contact the POEA.