At a time when expatriates represent about 95% of the nursing workforce in the country, this important and vital profession is facing reluctance from citizens as it falls below the ceiling of their ambitions, for reasons where material and moral overlap, such as low salaries and temptations to emigrate, not to mention the lack of appreciation that most of them face, which was represented in the repeated incidents of parents assaulting the nursing staff on many occasions.
A local Arabic daily said that the citizens’ reluctance to take up nursing which is an important job is not the only what is threatening the ministry, but also the expatriates working in the field quickly moving from the government sector to the private sector or migrate abroad for better prospects.
The nursing sector played a vital and prominent role during the Corona pandemic crisis in late February 2020, as its affiliates made remarkable sacrifices in the face of the epidemic and its confusing repercussions.
They made huge sacrifices in order to combat the epidemic, and a number of them died as a result of infection with its complications, during their daily presence in the front rows, and their keenness to spare no effort in confronting them with the virus, whether in hospitals, health centers and health facilities, or even in quarantine centers that were established during the pandemic or at airports and other places.
According to the latest statistics of the Ministry of Health, the nursing staff in the country is 21,490 male and female nurses, including 1,077 Kuwaitis, while the number of non-Kuwaitis is 20,413 and recently many nurses have resigned as a result of obtaining better offers, both inside and outside the country. This calls for the Ministry’s attention to this situation and to work to increase their number.
The head of the Kuwaiti Nursing Association, Bandar Al-Enezi, points out that the nursing profession is one of the hard professions, where citizens work for 5 days with two days off a week while it is 6 working days and one day off for expatriates, pointing to many reasons that led to the migration of a large number of resident nurses, because they receive better job opportunities than locally available.
Al-Enezi told Al-Qabas immigration was not limited to abroad, but even through moving from the government sector to the private sector in the country, due to better offers for male and female nurses, pointing to a noticeable shortage of nursing staff during the recent period in some health facilities, which necessitates providing radical solutions to address their migration and providing them with a suitable work environment.
Al-Enezi pointed out that more than 95% of the nursing staff locally are expatriates, which confirms that the profession is witnessing a noticeable reluctance from citizens, pointing to the importance of reviewing the approval and provision of allowances due to nursing staff, such as allowances for infection, danger, pollution and screen.
He stated that the next stage will witness meetings of the association with ministry officials regarding the discussion of providing means of protection for nursing staff, with the possibility of approving more allowances, to encourage young people to turn to the profession, in addition to addressing the Civil Service Commission to ensure the existence of degrees for holders of Master’s and Doctoral degrees, and to work to facilitate postgraduate studies for workers in the field, pointing out that Kuwait needs to recruit qualified nurses, especially in light of the expansion of a number of hospitals and developmental health facilities, such as Jaber, Jahra, Farwaniya and Adan hospitals, where these facilities require a large number of nursing staff.
Al-Enezi indicated that the association is also coordinating with the Public Authority for Applied Education and Training and the Ministry of Health, to meet the country’s needs for national competencies in the field of nursing, by forming a committee from the three parties, and working to solve the problem of the low demand of students for the nursing science program at the diploma and bachelor levels, stressing It was discussed to increase the number of students to enroll in nursing colleges, by simplifying the admission procedures.
The ten urgent demands include
1 – Nomination of an assistant undersecretary for nursing in «Health»
2 – Raising salaries and allowances
3 – Improving the work environment
4 – Providing radical solutions to end their migration
5 – Adopting legal means to protect them from attacks
6 – Securing job degrees for Master’s and Doctorate holders
7 – Facilitating higher studies for workers in the field
8 – Coordination with the “Applied” to meet the state’s needs of nurses
9 – Solving the problem of low demand for “Nursing Sciences” in diploma and bachelor’s degrees
10 – Simplifying admission procedures to increase the number of students to enroll in nursing faculties