An official decision will soon be issued to curb the practice of Indian nurses being forced to pay bribes of thousands of dinars to recruitment companies in Kuwait for working in the nursing sector in Kuwait, especially after the Indian Embassy in Kuwait officially contacted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs almost three months ago and demanded action in this regard.
Such a decision can put an end to the corruption, irregularities and wrong practices being carried out for recruiting nurses and health workers in Kuwait, reports Al-Rai daily.Last August, an article titled ‘Traders ... White Robe’ was published on the front page of Al-Rai daily about the companies that act as intermediaries between the ministry and the nurses. Even though the parliament demanded the formation of an inquiry committee for conducting investigations about this matter, these companies were undeterred and continued their illegal practices.
After the Embassy of India in Kuwait officially raised the issue with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs more than three months, the companies that are qualified to recruit health workers were listed. In doing so, it was discovered that many of these companies were either corporate ‘contracting companies’ while some others were fake.
These companies collected thousands of dinars from each nurse for his/her recruitment without abiding by the necessary standards and specifications and without checking whether the nurses were fit for the job professionally, medically, socially, or even morally. Informed sources said the Embassy of India in Kuwait officially requested the Kuwaiti Ministry of Foreign Affairs to urgently address this widespread corruption and unacceptable irregularities related to the recruitment of Indian nurses to work in Kuwait.
In its letter to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Indian embassy said it is still receiving several complaints about nurses in India being forced to pay a huge bribe of KD 6,000-10,000 to agents of manpower recruitment in Kuwait in collusion with the recruitment offices in India to work in the nursing sector in Kuwait. It revealed that the amount of the bribe needed to secure a job in the government hospitals is much higher than that for jobs in the private sector because higher salaries are offered in governmental hospitals.
The embassy explained that the bribes requested from the nurses to work in Kuwaiti government hospitals for a monthly salary of KD 650-700 range are between KD 6,000 and KD 10,000, while the bribes paid by the nurses to the private recruiting companies for working in the ministry for a monthly salary of KD 450-600 range between KD 3,000 and KD 5,000. In addition, the nurses who are recruited to work in private hospitals for a monthly salary of KD 250-300 pay a bribe of about KD 3,000 while those who are recruited to work in Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor, and Ministry of Education for a monthly salary of KD 150-175 pay a bribe ranging between KD 1,000 and KD 1,500.
Sources explained the nurses who pay such huge sums as bribes for jobs in Kuwait often believe that they would be working in Kuwait until the normal retirement age of 60 years.
However, the recruitment offices end up offering contracts of a limited period such as for two years, after which these Indian nurses suffer under huge financial burden following the termination of their contracts, and are forced to leave Kuwait early.