Saudi exodus: ''Large number'' of expatriate nurses decide not to renew contracts
An unusually "large number" of vacancies have been reported from government and private sectors in the wake of the latest attacks on foreigners in Saudi Arabia, alocal newspaper said on Sunday.
These vacancies relate to technical, executive and secretarial jobs in a wide range of fields, including health care, marketing, water treatment, IT, manpower development, accounting, engineering and environmental protection. They underline security concerns over attacks in Riyadh and the Eastern Province, coinciding with the growing number of Western expatriates leaving the Kingdom, Arab News reported.
A large number of nurses working for the Ministry of Health and private hospitals have also decided not to renew their contracts and opt instead to seek work elsewhere. Many hospitals in the UK, Ireland and other European countries are also offering attractive salaries to these nurses from South and Southeast Asia, sometimes up to four times more than what they are earning at present.
Another factor responsible for nurses wishing to work abroad is malpractice on the part of a number of recruitment agencies in Riyadh, identified by the Indian Embassy. The mission’s labor welfare section has complained in a letter to the Saudi Ministry of Health about the situation faced by a number of Indian doctors and nurses.
The complaints include contract substitution, delayed payment of salaries, overtime and other allowances, denial of vacation or final exit, inadequate housing, prolonged retention of nurses without salaries, vacations, or exit visas, and denial of basic amenities, including permission to visit markets for shopping.
In some cases, employees have been forced to work against their will long after their contracts have expired.
The situation has been compounded by an acute shortage of Saudi nurses. According to Dr. Fahd Abdul Jabbar, executive director of King Abdul Aziz Medical City, the Kingdom’s hospitals need about 100,000 female nurses and male medical personnel. At present there are only 1,000 Saudi nurses. The number of expatriate nurses stands at 53,000. (menareport.com)
© 2004 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)
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