By Sami Zaptia.
London, 14 August 2018:
Libya has agreed to the recruitment of 150 Filipino auxiliary nurses for Tripoli University Hospital (TUH). The revelation was made after the meeting of the Philippine Consul in Libya, Merdumel Selo Malkor, with the Director of TUH Dr Nabil Alageli in Tripoli yesterday.
During the meeting, which focused on the details and logistics of how to facilitate Filipino medical personnel to work in the hospital, Alageli praised the professionalism and contribution of Filipino medical personnel in supporting the Libyan health sector over the past years. He also highlighted the vacuum they had left after returning to the Philippines, which led to the low level of medical services in the hospital.
It was agreed that 150 auxiliary medical staff would be dispatched as an urgent first phase to fill the shortfall in some vital sections of the TUH and to coordinate other teams to train nurses in the hospital and the Libyan Nursing College.
Alageli added that the return of Filipino medical personnel to work at the TUH would be the beginning of a return of Filipino (and other foreign) medical personnel to all health facilities in Libya.
TUH currently has less than 100 Filipino auxiliary medical personnel, and to fill the current deficit in all departments the TUH needs more than 800.
In a related context, Alageli announced the commissioning and dispatching of a committee to procure medical assistance from India and Bangladesh to fill the nursing shortage in TUH.
It will be recalled that in May this year the Faiez Serraj-led Presidency Council (PC) had granted approval for TUH to recruit foreign nurses.
Speaking directly to Libya Herald at the time of writing, Alageli had said that the nurses would be recruited from the Philippines, India and Bangladesh. A committee was to be sent to the three countries to interview candidates and then a private firm would take over the process, organizing travel, accommodation and security, he explained.
With regards to the vexing issue of payment in hard currency to the nurses, Alageli had said that the PC Ministry of Labour had contacted the Tripoli-based Central Bank of Libya requesting that the nurses be allowed to transfer 100 percent of their salaries in hard currency – as opposed to the existing 70 percent limit.
The plan to recruit foreign nurses to the TUH comes as part of a wider effort by the Serraj PC to reform the Libyan health sector. It will be recalled that in April this year the PC passed a decree reorganizing and converting Tripoli Medical Centre (TMC) into a university hospital. And in March it published a decree renaming the TMC as Tripoli University Hospital (TUH).
In the beginning of March the PC appointed Alageli as the new director for the then TMC. Alageli had also signed a new maintenance contract with Austrian company Vamed for the TMC at the end of March.