Some prominent UAE healthcare organisations have come forward to offer employment to nurses from India who were duped by recruitment agencies on the pretext of providing them jobs at COVID-19 vaccination and testing centres in the Gulf country, according to a media report.
Several nurses from Kerala are stranded in the UAE after being duped by recruitment agencies which charged exorbitant commissions ranging from Rs 200,000 (USD 2,743) to Rs 350,000 (USD 4,800), the Gulf News reported.
They were falsely offered jobs at COVID-19 vaccination and testing centres in the UAE.
Some of the top executives of the leading healthcare groups have expressed willingness to hire the nurses, including those who have not yet secured a local medical licence, saying they would be provided assistance to get a licence in the coming months if they have the required qualification and experience.
Dr Azad Moopen, chairman and managing director of Aster DM Healthcare, said: "We are ready to hire whoever is qualified and has sufficient experience with or without licence. They should be able to perform well in the interview. If they don't have a licence, we can start processing their visas and provide them support to try for a licence."
He said that his group needs 300 nurses on account of two hospitals coming up in Dubai and Sharjah.
Dr Sanjay M Paithankar, managing director of Right Health, said that this group was also willing to hire up to 40 nurses.
"We have just opened five more facilities in Dubai. They can join immediately. There are flats ready to accommodate them. We will arrange visa, accommodation, transportation plus basic salary till they get the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) license. Our company will also help them appear for tests to get a DHA licence."
Those who are not qualified to apply for the DHA licence have also been offered jobs as assistants.
Michael Brenden Davis, CEO of NMC Healthcare, said: "We are unable to guarantee job placements without proper diligence. However, our team is anxious to review CVs of those affected, to assess if we would be in a position to help".
Meanwhile, Consul General of India in Dubai Dr Aman Puri told the Gulf News on Wednesday that the stranded nurses must report the matter to the mission so that they can be assisted with repatriation.
"We have been in touch with the associations and community groups. So far, nobody has approached us seeking help for repatriating stranded nurses. The consulate is willing to assist whoever needs help. If anyone complains about any recruitment agency, we will forward it to the state government for taking action," he said.
The nurses welcomed the support, saying that they were overwhelmed to see the response from the healthcare groups here.
Apart from the new hospital openings, Dr Moopen cited multiple reasons for the huge number of vacancies for nurses in the UAE.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, he said, many health-care workers who went to India did not come back due to flight suspension or due to various other reasons.
The UAE on Saturday reported 1,596 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total number of infections to 554,516. Four more fatalities took the death count to 1,648, the report said.