Third batch of Filipino nurses leaves for Japan

Published by rudy Date posted on May 23, 2011

The third batch of 71 Filipino nurses left for Japan yesterday to undergo intensive Japanese language training to further boost their chances of passing the country’s tough licensure examinations.

Before departing for Japan, the nurses have already completed a two-month preparatory language course in Manila. It was the first time that Japan has implemented a preparatory language training prior to departure for Japan.

“Being fully-equipped with the Japanese language…is essential not only for pursuing a successful career as qualified nurses in Japan but also for leading a well-integrated life in the Japanese society,” said Akio Isomata, Japanese Embassy Minister for Economic Affairs.

Japan recently revised its licensure exam for foreign nurses and caregivers to increase the passing rate of health workers.

Since 2009, the Philippines has sent a total of 139 nurses and 299 caregivers to train in Japan through an economic partnership agreement between Manila and Tokyo that was signed in 2006. Of the 139 nurses, only two passed the licensure exam.

Japan has been taking steps to improve the employment scheme for foreign health workers to attract more Filipinos in seeking employment opportunities in Japan.

The Japanese government said it has introduced “improvements” in the licensure exams by incorporating English medical terms and using simpler Japanese words to make it “more passable” for foreign applicants. Japan modified the content of its exam last 2010.

Those who will fail the licensure tests in Japan can only re-take the exam within their prescribed period of stay in Japan.

If after several tries they still fail the examination, they would have to return to the Philippines and re-apply again for training until they become qualified and licensed health workers in Japan.

Apart from the six months of paid language training, Filipino nurses and caregivers subsequently work in Japanese hospitals and caregiving facilities, for three years and four years, respectively, to familiarize themselves with the Japanese healthcare system.

During that time, nurses undergoing work-training receive an average monthly salary of 130,000 yen to 220,000 yen or roughly P66,000 and P113,000 in local currency. For caregivers, the monthly wage ranges from 125,000 yen to 185,000 yen or P64,000 and P95,000.  –Michaela P. del Callar, Daily Tribune

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