2,100 nurses coming from India and Philippines
RIYADH – A total of 2,100 female nurses from India and the Philippines have been contracted to work in various government hospitals in the Kingdom, the Health Ministry announced.
Director of the ministry’s nursing department Ilham Sindi told Makkah daily that the new nurses would assume their duties within a month after completing their recruitment procedures. She said 1,800 nurses would be coming from India while 300 would come from the Philippines. Sindi said the recruited nurses are highly qualified and experienced.
“They are holders of bachelor’s and master’s degrees,” she added. She said the new nurses would be a real asset to the ministry’s medical cadres and will fill vacancies in a number of government hospitals. “There will be no shortage of nurses any more,” she added.
Sindi, a member of the selection committee that had just visited New Delhi and Manilla, said more nurses from the two countries would be contracted if there is a need for them. She said the contract term is for one year and renewable.
Sindi noted that Saudi female nurses do not possess any of these nursing specializations. “Whenever we do have a Saudi nurse with the required specialization, she will immediately replace the expatriate nurse,” she said.
According to 2009 data from the Ministry of Health, out of the 110,858 nurses across all healthcare sectors in the Kingdom, only 32.3 percent of them were Saudi.
But nursing as a profession is slowly being accepted by Saudis. When Umm Al-Qura University first opened the nursing program, which is a five year program, only 20 students enrolled. In the second year 45 students enrolled and in the year after that, 72 young women sat for their first year of nursing,.
King Abdulaziz University introduced the first baccalaureate nursing education program in the Kingdom in 1977.