Launching of the Alliance of Filipino Health Workers in Austria

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Under the motto GEMEINSAM SIND WIR STARK (Together we are strong) a well-organized launch of the Alliance of Filipino Health Workers in Austria was staged on December 15, 2023, at the Philippine Embassy in Vienna.

A number of Filipino health workers and pensioners from all over Austria attended the launching ceremony. Some newly arrived nurses from the Philippines were also represented.

The organizers, under the leadership of Marjorie Akistoy, Richel Bögner, and Janet Heiss, offered a one-of-a-kind programme that featured inspirational talks and practical information on issues concerning Filipino health workers in Austria.

In her speech, Ms. ANDREA WADSACK, Councillor of the Chamber of Labor Vienna (Arbeitskammer), informed the participants about the benefits of becoming a member of the Arbeiterkammer. She thanked the Filipino nurses and other health workers for their services in Austria’s health sector.

“From the bottom of my heart, I want to thank you for providing our hospitals and homes for the elderly with the best services, care, and support,” Wadzak said.

She also acknowledged the arrival of the new Filipino nurses, who will compensate for the shortage of health workers in Austria.

She assured the nurses that the “Arbeiterkammer” is always there to assist them whenever they need help in relation to their workplace and situation.

Dr. GABRIELE PASCUA, a young doctor with a Filipino background, shared her experience with Filipino nurses in the hospital where she works.

“Their commitment to their profession is unmatched. Filipino health workers display a great level of resilience and provide exceptional care. Their tireless efforts in the face of adversity and their ability to find hope in the most challenging circumstances inspire us all. It’s not just about their medical expertise; it’s about their empathy and kindness towards every patient they encounter,” Dr. Gabriele Pascua said

The young doctor expressed her deepest appreciation and heartfelt thanks to the Filipino health workers.

“Your commitment to healing, dedication, and compassionate care make the world better. You are not just healthcare providers; you are heroes, and your legacy will continue to inspire generations to come,” Pascua added.

DANIEL GARCES, DGKP, Basales und Mittleres Management, E.A.N Holder for Managers in Long-term Care, and an Austrian with Filipino roots talked about his experiences in the field of health care management.

In his inspirational talk, he wanted to elaborate that Filipinos in Austria have the potential to achieve greater heights.

“Our parents and the pioneer Filipino nurses laid the foundation of a positive image of the Filipinos here in Austria. The new generation of nurses, especially the leaders, should merge their strengths and work together. In doing so, they could form a network and eventually present a strong community,” Garces added.

Filipino Ambassador to Austria EVANGELINA LOURDES A. BERNAS, recognized the first batch of Filipino nurses for setting the standards of Filipino nurses in the country.

“Because of your work ethics, Austrians have really high regard for Filipino nurses. That is why we got a new agreement that allowed new Filipino nurses to come and work in Austria,” the ambassador said in her remarks.

Officers of the Alliance of Filipino Health Workers in Austria

Some of the pioneer Filipino nurses also attended the event.

Marjorie Akistoy presented the objectives of the newly launched Filipino Health Workers group.

The “Alliance of Filipino Health Workers in Austria” promotes the connection of Filipino health workers with each other. It supports forming social, educational, and professional networks.
Akistoy elaborated that the alliance is committed to protecting life and health, alleviating the suffering of sick people, and respecting human dignity. It also intends to establish local groups in other federal states to achieve a broader membership.

At the end of the launching event, officers and representatives of the group had been formed. They will be formally inducted into office during the first general assembly, which will be held in early 2024.

  • report and pictures: Hector Pascua
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