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Health Secretary Enrique Ona said that Iraq has been requesting for some 2,000 Filipino nurses and doctors for the past years but security issues remain even after the government lifted the eight-year ban on Filipino workers in Iraq’s autonomous Kurdistan region.

Iraqi ambassador, Dr. Wadee Al-Batti wants as many nurses as we can give but the Ona wants to be sure of the safety of Filipino health workers. The Department of Health (DOH) is not totally turning down the request but they are still coordinating with the Department of Affairs (DFA).

The DOH has also received similar requests from Holland, Africa and Barbados. Dr. Rustico Jimenez, president of the Private Hospital Association of the Philippines, said that India is also in need of more than 200,000 Filipino nurses.