London, United Kingdom. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
London, United Kingdom. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Philippines Labor Secretary Silvestre Bello III has announced a rise in the number of United Kingdom working visas available to health professionals. This means increased employment opportunities for Filipino doctors and nurses in the country, GMA News reported. Details of the number of new visas to be made available were not specified in the report.

Bello said the UK government sees the Philippines as one of the best sources of world class healthcare professionals, particularly nurses.

“We expect more Filipino nurses and doctors to take advantage of the increasing demand in the UK health care sector,” Bello said.

Applicants for nursing positions are required to attain an International English Testing System score of 7.0, as well as passing a two-part competency examination that is taken online. Applicants must also pass Objective Structured Clinical Examinations, which are conducted after their arrival in the UK.

According to the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in London, 94.9%, or 1,446 out of 1,524 Filipinos who arrived to work in the UK in 2017 were nurses. As of December 2017, there are 75,787 Filipino migrant workers in the UK, most of whom are professionals and highly-skilled workers.