Financial help and job offers pour in for nurses rescued from Iraq

PT Jyothi Datta Mumbai | Updated on July 09, 2014

14 offer-letters and ₹25,000 offered

Earlier this week, Azad Moopen received a call from Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, asking him to participate in a meeting to help counsel and rehabilitate the nurses rescued from Iraq.

Dubai-based Moopen had not just offered the nurses ₹25,000 for their “immediate requirements,” but as Chairman Aster DM Healthcare, he also offered them jobs at their network of hospitals in India and West Asia.

Timely assistance

“The Chief Minister wanted us to be part of the counselling session for the nurses on Friday at Thiruvanathapuram,” Moopen said, speaking to Business Line from Dubai. “It is very simple; our institutions are built on their (nurses) shoulders, and when they are in trouble, you need to step in,” he added.

Abu Dhabi-based NMC Healthcare and Oman-based Atlas Healthcare Group have also made similar offers to the nurses.

And as the financial assistance, job offers and counselling offers come in for the 46 rescued nurses, some hope seems to be emerging for them at the end of their long journey through war-torn Iraq.

The response from the nurses has been good, says Gracy Mathai, the point of contact for the nurses at Aster Medcity, Kochi. Following the Chairman’s offer, Mathai received several informal enquiries and about five of them came to the hospital, she said, adding that they were in the process of verifying details. Her colleague, Deepthi Nair, added that Gracy now receives calls, not just from the rescued nurses, but even from others seeking jobs.

The money (₹25,000) and about 14 offer-letters were given to the nurses on Wednesday, Nair said.

“But it is their call, if they want to join,” she added. The healthcare group will now contact the nurses who have not responded yet, she added.

No conflict zones

Three nurses who came for the interaction said they were scared to go abroad, but several others enquired about opportunities abroad, Nair explained. According to Aster Medcity Chief Executive Harish Pillai, the common theme is that many face debts because of their loans and want to go abroad for the higher salaries, to be able to pay back the loans.

Pillai himself had returned to Kochi after running Egypt’s largest private hospital in Cairo for seven years, at the time of the Arab spring.

Echoing similar thoughts, the mother of a rescued nurse said she would allow her daughter to go abroad again, provided it was safe. But her daughter, 25-year-old nurse Anjaleena Luka said she will take her time to decide.

Though she has got her offer letter from the hospital-group she said she would take a final call after the Friday meeting called by Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy.

Published on July 09, 2014

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