head 3

Demand for Indian nurses has increased globally since the onset of Pandemic; many countries, including Ireland, attract nurses with a variety of offers

Since the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, the demand for Indian nurses has increased worldwide. But it has now increased again as many countries have begun their vaccination drives and strengthened their healthcare systems to prevent future disasters.

According to the Overseas Development and Employment Promotion Consultants (ODEPC) under the Government of Kerala, only 300 nurses were recruited through them in 2019-20. Meanwhile, ODEPC says it has sent 420 nurses to the UAE, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the UK between August 2020 and February 2021.

The organisation also said that about 40 nurses were sent abroad every month before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Anoop K A, Managing Director of ODEPC, said 253 nurses had been sent in the first 23 days of February. Of these, 153 nurses were sent to the UAE, 50 to the UK, and the other 50 to Saudi Arabia and some European countries. “There are hundreds of other nurses who have been recruited and are ready to fly once the visa facility becomes available,” he said.

Other leading countries visiting India are Ireland, Malta, Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium. Anoop said that Belgium would be hiring Indian nurses for the first time and talks were underway. “Their offer is very attractive; the only thing we are trying to figure out is the language issue,” Anoop said.

The demand for Indian nurses in the Gulf countries has increased two to three times. The UK is planning to hire 50,000 nurses by 2025. Most of them are from India and the Philippines.

“Enquiries from the UK and Ireland have increased tremendously. The UK government has extended some additional benefits to healthcare workers after the Covid pandemic,” said Evelyn P. Kannan, secretary general, Trained Nurses Association of India (TNAI), Delhi.

B. Sundaresan, administrative officer at Chennai-based Overseas Manpower Corporation Limited (OMCL), said that the demand for Indian nurses is now at least 50% higher than in the period prior to COVID-19. He said the demand for ICU nurses is particularly high.

Factors that draw Indian nurses to foreign countries

The salary offers from Dubai have more than doubled from 4,000-5,000 dirhams (Rs 80,000- Rs 1 lakh) to 10,000-12,000 dirhams (Rs 2 lakh-2.4 lakh). Meanwhile, offers from Germany and Ireland have remained stable since before the pandemic, at a salary of around Rs 2.5 lakh to Rs 3 lakh.

“While some hospitals are offering free accommodation for some period, others are offering additional benefits such as free metro passes, pocket money or free food coupons,” said Anoop.

In addition to increasing their wages, many countries offer free accommodation and free food to attract Indian nurses.

The UK is providing free accommodation for the first three months and free food for the first 14 days. Dubai, meanwhile, is offering it for an unspecified period.

Many Gulf countries have relaxed the requirement for entrance exams Special visa facilities have also been temporarily extended.

TNAI secretary general, P Kannan said: “The UK government decided to waive the immigration health surcharge (IHC) for healthcare workers and their dependents. Also, the government has reduced the visa charges from 464 pounds to 232 pounds for healthcare workers and their dependents.”

“Indian nurses are happier to move to English-speaking countries due to better working and living conditions. The permanent residence permission along with employment opportunities for their dependents attracts more nurses to move to English-speaking countries, especially the UK, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand,” Kannan said.

Kindly click the link below to join WhatsApp group chat to get important news and breaking news from Irish Samachar


Comments are closed.