Euphoria over job offers to nurses from Iraq dissipate

They were upbeat when two hospital groups from United Arab Emirates and one from Oman called them for interview at Trivandrum on Saturday with offers of jobs in their hospitals in India or abroad.

By T. K. Devasia (Reporting from Trivandrum)

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Published: Tue 15 Jul 2014, 9:28 AM

Last updated: Sat 4 Apr 2015, 5:21 AM

The initial euphoria over the jobs offered to the 46 nurses who returned to Kerala from the war-torn Tikrit in Iraq has dissipated with the nurses finding the jobs offered to them by most of the agencies less attractive.

They were upbeat when two hospital groups from United Arab Emirates and one from Oman called them for interview at Trivandrum on Saturday with offers of jobs in their hospitals in India or abroad.

However, their enthusiasm receded when two groups remained silent on the package for the foreign placement and the other offered salary much less than what the nurses were drawing at Tikrit. The Aster DM Healthcare and the NMC Group kept the salary pending until the pass the required tests.

The two groups headed by Dr. Azad Moopan and B R Shetty wanted them to work in their hospitals in Kerala at much lesser salary till then. Most of the nurses are not keen on this as they are not sure what salary they will be offered after they pass the tests.

A clue they got from the Oman-based Atlas Group of Hospitals was not encouraging. The maximum salary offered by the group for working in their hospitals in Oman was Rs38, 000 a month. Mareena M Jose, who was among the first batch of 31 nurses who went to Iraq 10 months ago, said most of them was drawing more than Rs45, 000.

Mareena, who was drawing Rs60, 000, has refused the offer and is independently trying for a job in Qatar, where husband is working. She said many of her friends were also looking for other options.

Vidya K Viswambaran from Pathanamthitta, who was appointed on a salary of Rs50, 000 a month said that she was in a dilemma whether to accept the offer or not. She told the Khaleej Times that the salary offered to her was not sufficient to repay the loans she took for her studies and the visa.

Vidya, who belonged to the second batch of 15 nurses who went to Iraq in February this year, returned penniless from Iraq. She is pinning the hopes on Chief Minister Oommen Chandy’s assurance to ensure the payment of her salary for four months she worked at Tikrit and Rs300, 000 offered by the Behzad group to clear at least part of the liabilities.

“Besides clearing the liabilities, I also have to look after my parents and siblings. I took up the job in the troubled country because of the heavy burden on my shoulders. I will join the Atlas group only if there are no other options,” she added.

Vidya said she would have been happy if she could get a job in the hospitals under the Kerala government. She said that the chief minister was silent on this. However, she has submitted an application.


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