Saudi Arabia, facing a dearth of trained female nurses, has recruited 2,100 nurses, including 1,800 from India, to work in various government hospitals across the gulf nation.
Hired on one year renewable contract, the nurses arriving from India and the Philippines would assume their duties within a month after completing recruitment procedures, Director of the health ministry's nursing department Ilham Sindi was quoted as saying by the Saudi Gazette.
"They are holders of bachelor's and master's degrees. There will be no shortage of nurses any more," she said, adding that they would be a real asset to the ministry's medical cadres and will fill vacancies in a number of government hospitals.
Sindi, a member of the selection committee that recently visited New Delhi and Manilla, said, if needed, more nurses from the two countries would be contracted as Saudi female nurses lacked the required nursing specialisations.
"Whenever we do have a Saudi nurse with the required specialisation, she will immediately replace the expatriate nurse," she said.
According to 2009 data from the Ministry of Health, out of the 110,858 nurses across all health care sectors in the Kingdom, only 32.3 per cent of them were Saudi.