200 asylum seekers could be helping in healthcare sector in Belgium
Share article:
Share article:

200 asylum seekers could be helping in healthcare sector in Belgium

Credit: Belga

Around 200 asylum seekers could be eligible to work in the healthcare sector in Belgium based on their degrees or relevant experience, according to a survey conducted by Fedasil at the request of Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration Sammy Mahdi.

The survey from the Federal Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers looked at the number of people with a recent degree or experience in health care in centres that receive applicants for international protection.

“We can use a lot of helping hands during this Covid crisis. Because there are a lot of people in our asylum centres waiting for an answer as to whether they can stay here or not, it would be useful to be able to call on those people now as well. These people have a profile for working in healthcare and we should be able to put them to work,” Mahdi’s spokesperson told The Brussels Times.

Related News


The people included in the survey have a pending asylum procedure, but may be eligible for a work permit because they have a temporary right of residence.

According to the survey, the people identified indicated that they can do little while waiting for a decision in their asylum procedure and that “they want to do their bit during the coronavirus crisis, especially as they could support a sector that is under great pressure.”

The Coronavirus Commission previously had mentioned the possibility for these asylum seekers to work when there was a demand for extra support in the care sector, however, he later reported that there was “less of an acute need for care personnel,” according to a press release from Fedasil.

However, Mahdi recognised there are practical objections in terms of recognition of qualifications and deployment to already overcrowded workplaces. He has asked his department to look into whether asylum seekers can be employed as volunteers in vaccination centres, as they are organised locally, which means make agreements can be made with the reception centres.

The survey found that most of the people with a degree or experience are women under the age of 35 who have worked in the health care, obstetrics, or nursing sector in their home countries.

Just under 50% of the people obtained an appropriate degree less than five years ago; the other half have more than five years of work experience.

Meanwhile, around 50% of them speak Dutch and 32% can communicate in French. They also speak English, Arabic, Farsi, or Spanish, which the agency said be useful for reaching certain target groups.

Lauren Walker
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Non-urgent care once again postponed in some hospitals
As the worsening coronavirus situation in Belgium is starting to take its toll on hospitals, it has been confirmed non-urgent care will once again be ...
Brussels Airport warns autumn holidaymakers to arrive early
Passengers leaving from Brussels Airport this autumn have been advised to factor in extra time to account for longer than normal check-in times and ...
27,000 Belgian taxpayers to pay more after incorrect tax break
About 27,000 taxpayers who wrongly received a tax reduction in the last three years due to an error by the tax administration will have to pay what ...
Wallonia launches first major survey for cyclist satisfaction
Following in the footsteps of France and Flanders, the Wallonia Region of Belgium is launching its first major satisfaction survey on municipal ...
After 5 rescues in 2 days, hundreds of migrants take shelter in Italy
After five rescues in less than two days, almost 400 migrants aboard the Geo Barents search and rescue ship in the Central Mediterranean, operated by ...
Belgian wind farm closed down to save migrants floating in sea
A wind farm near Zeebrugge had to be shut down on Wednesday morning as more than 25 migrants had been adrift in its vicinity off the Belgian coast ...
Cinemas will require Covid Safe Ticket from Friday
The Covid Safe Ticket (CST) will be required to attend cinemas across Belgium from Friday, which marks the start of the autumn holidays, the ...
Strong warnings issued ahead of climate change summit
New and updated climate commitments fall far short of what is needed to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement, leaving the world on track for a ...
Disastrous year for Belgian beekeepers
Belgian beekeepers have experienced a disastrous year, with honey production 50 to 60 percent lower than last year due to heavy rainfall during ...
New measures for schools considered as situation becomes ‘untenable’
Belgium's various education partners met on Wednesday to discuss additional measures to implement in schools as the coronavirus situation worsens in ...
Belgium in Brief: Back To Masks
I really hope you didn't throw out all your masks. You'll be needing them again. Now I do appreciate that this isn't a huge change for ...
Belgium a climate slowcoach as EU reveals emissions progress
The European Union is on track to pass its first big climate test, according to new figures published this week. But Belgium has been singled out for ...