Licensure Exams for Midwives, Nurses to be Held in HK

Good news to Filipino nurses and midwives in Hong Kong. The plan to conduct a special licensure examination for nurses and midwives will become a reality as the Philippine government gave a go signal to administer the exams for the first time next month.

There are few Filipino nurses and midwives practicing their chosen profession in Hong Kong but many others who finished the said degrees ended up as domestic helpers, unable to take the licensure examinations. The move aims to help Filipinos improve competitiveness without having to leave their workplaces, similar to the board exams for Filipinos in the Middle East to be held also next month.

Dr. Ruth Padeilla, a commissioner of the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC), said President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has directed the Commission to conduct a special test to Filipino medical professionals in the former British colony, some of whom ended up as domestic helpers despite their degrees.

“After signing an executive order for the conduct of licensure exam to professionals in the Middle East, the President also wants to extend the services to our professionals in Hong Kong to enable them to have the edge and competitiveness in the labor market,’’ Padilla said in an interview.

“If they pass the test and acquire the license, it will mean better job opportunities, good salary and better living conditions for them,’’ she added.

The appeal to have the exams held in Hong Kong was initially made by Hong Kong chapters of Filipino Nurses Association (FNA) and the Integrated Midwives Association of the Philippines (IMAP), according to Padeilla.

Based on the assessment made by the PRC, at least 90 nurses and 26 midwives based in Hong Kong will be taking the licensure examination slated from December 12 to 13 at the Bayanihan Center (see map below). There are hundreds of others who applied to take the exams but were not eligible because either they lack training or had been following the old curriculum. IMAP pledged to assist midwives who plan to take the next examinations.

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The Metrobank branch in Hong Kong, whose office is located below the Philippine Consular office, also offered its multipurpose hall for free for the review classes of the takers, she said.

Since domestic helpers only have a day off per week — the coming licensure exams will be held Saturday and Sunday — the Consular office has offered assurance to assist the professionals explain to their employers about the examinations and it’s importance.