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Ministry of Health Seeks to Extend Special Work Permits to Filipino Nurses Working in Belize’s Health Care System

Last week, we reported on the story of the significant shortage of nurses in Belize. Nurses Association President Darrell Spencer told our newsroom that despite the KHMH’s continuing to import nurses from countries including the Philippines, there is no need to do that. This evening, however, the Ministry of Immigration says that in July last year, they informed the hospital of a waiver of the Employment Permit Fee for nurses from that South Asian country. A release adds that the conditions of that correspondence remain in effect to date or until otherwise changed. The Ministry has issued thirty-three work authorizations or Special Permits to Filipino nurses between September fourteen last year and February ten this year. This includes those nurses who have received Temporary Employment Permit approvals to work with the KHMH; obtained renewals of said permits aforementioned; and received first-time contracts with KHMH. The Ministry of Health and Foreign Affairs are now discussing whether to extend this waiver to accommodate other foreign health care workers who are contracted to work within the health care system of the country.