Saudi Arabia Searching for Expat Healthcare Professionals
The New Year is traditionally a time of new beginnings and fresh starts, and in 2014 thousands of people will be taking the exciting step of moving overseas in order to enjoy a whole host of surprising experiences.
For many of those planning a move overseas, finding suitable employment to finance their expat life will be a key priority. For that reason, qualified health professionals may want to look into the exciting opportunities emerging in Saudi Arabia.
According to a recent report the region is looking to fill around 3,500 doctor, nurse and healthcare service positions and is advertising for suitable applicants in foreign nations.
As it stands adverts have been placed in nations like Egypt, India and Pakistan and the Health Ministry has confirmed that it soon intends to begin interviews in cities including New Delhi.
While the Saudi government’s search for employees has so far been limited to Muslim nations (possibly because of the difficulties some expats face in acclimatising to the Saudi culture) with so many positions to fill the search may soon be widened.
The demand for healthcare workers is reflective of the mammoth increase in spending seen in the sector over the last few years, and many believe that the drive to improve facilities is geared towards attracting highly-skilled expats.
It is also believed that local companies will be given permission to hire expat woman to fill positions in the health, education, childcare and dressmaking sectors as there aren’t enough qualified Saudi women available. The Human Resources Development Fund is still to approve this plan, and the foreign female workers would be prevented from working on a part-time basis or from home. They would also need to fit within prescribed age limits.
In other Expat news, female expatriate teachers in Saudi Arabia have now been given until the beginning of the new academic year to transfer their sponsorship to schools, meaning that many no longer have to leave their schools by January 6th as originally planned. Given that there would have been massive disruption to classes if the government hadn’t extended the deadline, this is good news for Saudi Arabian students.
However, while the extra time has been gratefully received by many parties, others continue to raise concerns regarding the issues that still need to be tackled. As asserted by the head of Novel International Group of Institutions; ‘We understand that it is mandatory for teachers to fall under the sponsorship of their schools. However, we need clarification from the Ministry of Labour on the terms and conditions. For instance, we received a memo from out school owner that a husband has to write a letter to his office or company owner to get his wife released from his sponsorship.’
Some teachers are worried that once their sponsorship is transferred to schools their husbands will lose out on the benefits of their marital status contract.
Officials now have until September to iron out these problems.