Human Resources for Health and Elderly Care in Asia

April 2018–March 2020

Researchers:

Yuko Tsujita, Japan External Trade Organization, Bangkok, Japan
Maria Reinaruth D. Carlos, Faculty of International Studies, Ryukoku University, Japan
Naomi Hatsukano, Institute of Developing Economics, Japan External Trade Organization, Japan
Osuke Komazawa, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia, Japan
Sota Machida, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia, Japan
Mita Noveria, Research Center For Population, Indonesian Institute of Sciences (Lipi), Indonesia
Hisaya Oda, College of Policy Science, Ritsumeikan University, Japan
Aswatini Raharto, Research Center For Population, Indonesian Institute of Sciences (Lipi), Indonesia
Yurika Suzuki, Institute of Developing Economics, Japan External Trade Organization, Japan
Patcharawalai Wongboonsin, College of Population Studies, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand

The movement of people across borders in Asia is a key component of deeper economic integration in the region. The effort to facilitate the seamless movement of skilled labor in ASEAN started with mutual recognition arrangements (MRAs) on several professional services that would allow professionals to practice in other ASEAN countries through mutual recognition of their qualifications. However, the ASEAN MRA on nursing services, which was signed and came into force in December 2012, has facilitated the mobility of nurses in only a few countries. While some countries are actively recruiting foreign nurses and care workers, others are regulating foreign workers.

This research project examines the case of Filipino, Indonesian, and Indian nurses and care workers to better understand the flow of human resources in the nursing and elderly care sector. In some countries in Asia that have experienced rapid population aging, the elderly are traditionally expected to be taken care by their families. The current demographic, economic, and social transformation, however, hinders some families’ availability and ability to take care of their senior dependents. The countries that are currently receiving foreign nurses, such as Japan and Malaysia, will be compared by analyzing those who are engaged in nursing and elderly care in each society. In addition, Thailand is examined in terms of elderly care, as the country is now rapidly aging.

This research aims to explore a wide range of aspects of human resource development and employment in the nursing and elderly care sector with a focus on foreign nurses and care workers, and is expected to identify the problems, obstacles, and challenges that are limiting the movement of nurses and care workers in the region.

Kiyoko Shiromasa