Filipino nurses
New nurses take an oath after passing highly competitive certification tests. In 2020, in the midst of COVID, the country reported being 20,000 nurses short. That number has just got bumped up, according to a recent government report.

Manila: Canada is looking for qualified Filipino health workers as part of a new drive that will financially support new recruits, even as an increasing number of nursing positions in government and proviate hospitals are left open.   

Manitoba Labour and Immigration Minister Jon Reyes made the announcement during a visit here, where he met the Philippines’ Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) Secretary Susan "Toots" Ople.

Benefits and enticements for fresh recruits include airfare, lodging, and training, the Canadian official said.


During their meeting Wednesday, Ople and Reyes agreed to expand labour collaboration between the Philippines and the Canadian province, particularly in the recruitment of Filipino nurses and other healthcare workers.


During the meeting, the officials discussed the proposed scholarship fund for Filipino nursing students who want to work in Canada.

Philippine nurses have been a significant part of the healthcare workforce in Canada for several decades. Filipino nurses make up a significant percentage of internationally educated nurses in Canada.

2.6 % of population

According to the Philippine Embassy in Canada, as of April 2018, there were around 901,218 Filipinos working and living in Canada, accounting for nearly 2.6 per cent of the country's total population.

Ontario, Alberta, and Manitoba have the highest number of Filipinos in Canada.

Ople thanked the Canadian government for their hospitality and unwavering dedication to protecting the rights and welfare of Filipino migrant workers, as well as for recognizing the professionalism of Filipino nurses.

“It’s very natural to our Filipino nurses, to our healthcare professionals to see every patient as a member of the family or a friend. Being warm, hospitable, caring, and hopeful are some of the qualities of our Filipino nurses that makes us proud,” Ople was quoted as saying by the Philippine News Agency (PNA).

First wave

The first wave of Filipino nurses arrived in Canada in the 1960s and 1970s as part of Canada's efforts to recruit healthcare professionals to address the shortage of nurses.

Filipino nurses who have migrated to Canada, primarily to work in hospitals, long-term care facilities, and other healthcare settings.

Filipino nurses have been valued for their high level of education, training, and experience.

Many have undergone rigorous training in the Philippines and have gained experience working in hospitals and other healthcare settings.

They have also been known for their hard work, professionalism, and commitment to patient care.

Philippine Filipino nurse IELTS
Filipino workers, including nurses applying to work in United Kingdom, attend a lecture at a review centre for the International English Language Testing System or IELTS in Manila, Philippines, April 2, 2019. Image Credit: Reuters


However, Filipino nurses have also faced challenges in Canada, including discrimination, language barriers, and difficulties in getting their qualifications recognised.

Despite these challenges, many Filipino nurses have succeeded in building successful careers in Canada and have contributed significantly to the country’s healthcare system.

The contributions of Filipino nurses to the Canadian healthcare system have been invaluable, and they continue to be an important part of the healthcare workforce in Canada.