Kerala to intervene for nurses in Saudi Arabia: Chandy

Thiruvananthapuram, Aug 19 (IANS) With the Saudi Arabian authorities set to implement a new law on minimum qualifications for nurses working in government and private sectors, the Kerala government will make suitable interventions, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said on Wednesday.

“We are aware of the proposed changes and we will do our best to help our nurses. We are going to make intervention in the matter,” Chandy told reporters here after the weekly cabinet meeting.

Unofficial estimates of Indian nurses working in Saudi Arabia are said to be above 25,000, of which a major chunk are from Kerala. Of these, a good number do not have a bachelor’s degree in nursing and hold only diplomas in nursing.

The oil-rich kingdom, on the other hand, has fixed bachelor’s degree in nursing and two years experience as the minimum qualification for all nurses in the medical sector.

S. Irudayarajan of the Centre for Development Studies here, said, “It is least surprising that Saudi authorities have opted to look for graduates in nursing. The need of the hour is for India to look for increasing the skills of our workforce. It applies not just to nursing, but other professions too. It should start without more delay.”

“Both the Centre and the state should immediately begin facilitating training programmes if our nurses are not to lose out,” added Irudayarajan.

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