Dubai: In a heartwarming gesture to accommodate 90 of the 300 stranded Indian nurses, VPS Healthcare announced their recruitment in their health care workforce at VPS Abu Dhabi.
It may be recalled that on March 10, 300 nurses were duped by a recruiting agency with the promise of jobs and found themselves stranded, without food and pay. UAE health care providers has magnanimously offered jobs to all and many health care groups were able to absorb the nurses. In this case, nine male and 81 female nurses have got jobs. Currently they will be working as patient support staff or service assistants and VPS Healthcare has assured to assist them to write the examination here to obtain the relevant health care licence to practice as registered nurses in the UAE.
90 nurses selected for jobs
Many of the nurses who faced uncertainty for over a month after being part of an international job scam are relieved to be able to be absorbed in hospitals in the UAE. Speaking at length to Gulf News, some of the nurses narrated how they were touched by the UAE’s generosity during these times and were happy to be able to provide financial support to their families back home.
Amruta Antony, 25 from Thrissur, Kerala, who has had about three years experience as a paediatric nurse, expressed her happiness at working in a professional hospital set-up in the UAE.
“I answered the advertisement as it said the job was only for a year as nurses for administering vaccination and I did not have to appear for any examination. They promised Rs100,000 per month with accommodation (approximately Dh5,000). The salary was attractive. I am the only breadwinner for the family as my father met with an accident recently. My other sibling is still at school. However, when I realised there was no job, I was stressed. I really want to thank VPS Healthcare, which accepted my application and has promised to help me write the examination for a Department of Health (DOH) licence. This job means a lot to me as it will help me support my family back home.”
Ambily MB, a medical and surgical ward nurse with over seven years experience, who hails from Kottayyam, Kerala, too was disappointed when she realised she was scammed. She told Gulf News: “I was working as a registered nurse in a leading hospital in Kerala. I came to the UAE with high hopes but was shocked when I found out about the scam. I have paid Rs200,000 to the recruitment agency. They had not returned us a single penny,” said the mother of a seven-year old daughter, who had left behind her family in India.
Recounting the sequence of events, Ambily said, “When we arrived on March 10, 17 of us were placed in one apartment with three partitions. I learnt there were other apartments where similar numbers were placed. Initially, the agent said this was a quarantine facility, then after 20 days when we questioned him he told us the consignment of vaccines (that we were hired to administer) were delayed so we would have to wait. We were given no money and when we questioned him again, he was very harsh with us. We also realised our return tickets were fake. So many of us began applying for local jobs.
“I am really grateful that VPS Healthcare called at least 165 of us for interviews and agreed to absorb 90 of us. I have already begun work and am staying at the hospital accommodation. I am really happy I have found employment in a professional set up and will be able to use all my experience from back home,” said Ambily.
Going back to India empty-handed was not an option, she said. “I could not return to India as my family was struggling to pay back the money we arranged to pay the agent. This job has come as a blessing to me I am confident that I will clear the procedures to obtain the medical licence. I am happy to be back at work when our services are very much required for the community,” she added.
Lincy Paul, 30, a mother of two kids, was an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) nurse with over eight years experience. She was happy to be back at work and hope to clear her examination soon to be able to work in an ICU soon.
Special interviews held, 41 absorbed
Sanjai Kumar, chief human resources officer at VPS Healthcare, said the group had selected eligible candidates through a special interview conducted recently. “We have given special consideration to eligible health care workers, who have been trapped for a long time and facing financial issues. 41 health workers who have completed the process have already joined the hospitals under VPS Healthcare. The health care workers who do not have a valid medical licence will be joining as Patient Aide/Service assistant.”
Dr Shamsheer Vayalil, chairman and managing director of the group, said he had instructed his team to provide all possible assistance to qualified trainee nurses to obtain licences. “We will be initiating and assisting them in processing DoH/DHA Licenses. In addition, to those who had already joined us, 49 more will be joining our medical team upon issuance of an employment visa. All the relevant expenses, including their RT-PCR test and BLS above the usual regulatory expenses, are being taken care of by VPS Healthcare as a special case,” said Kumar.
Meanwhile, health workers thanked VPS Healthcare for offering help during the crisis. VPS Healthcare officials also warned health care workers to be alert in future, of such job scams and fall victims to it. Rani Elsa Oomen, nursing officer at the group said: “Candidates should verify the information related to the institution and apply only after confirming the authenticity of the advertisement.”