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KUWAIT CITY, Feb 6: Several civil society organizations stressed the need for fairness towards the “angels of mercy” (nurses), as Kuwait is still in dire need of the “White Army” that worked hard and diligently throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, reports Aljarida daily. In a statement, these organizations expressed their strong dissatisfaction with what they refer as “inhumane behavior”, insisting on the need to end this dangerous file. They called for the intervention of the Minister of Health Dr. Khaled Al-Saeed to end this immoral procedure and to hold accountable those who are responsible for it.
The organizations explained that the “White Army”, which comprises expatriate nurses of different nationalities, were surprised when the companies that hired them terminated their contracts following the expiry of the contracts of those companies with the Ministry of Health.
The new companies, which have new contracts with the ministry, then asked the nurses to pay huge sums of money in order to renew their contracts. This is incompatible with the simplest rules of medical work, and inconsistent with the simplest ethical rules, as well as a clear and explicit violation of Kuwaiti law. The organizations affirmed that the importance of the health sector increased exponentially with the COVID- 19 pandemic that struck the whole world and led to waves of infections and deaths.
The role of the medical staff, especially the nursing staff, was clear to everyone worldwide including Kuwait where they performed a wonderful feat that exceeded all expectations. This included citizens, Bedoun residents and expatriates. In their statement, these non-profit organizations said, “These nurses who are affected are greatly shocked by the situation.
They have extensive experience in dealing with patients. If they did not pay the amounts required of them by the new companies that won the new ministerial contract, these companies will bring new nurses, perhaps some without experience, into the country and provide them with training in Kuwait. Eventually, we will lose them again because of the greed of some companies that operate within the medical sector. “After raising this issue in the press and social media for several days, the Ministry of Health did not move a finger or clarify matters immediately.
After a while, a short and weak statement was sent that reflected their position of ambiguity. “The ministry’s statement stressed that the problem is related to the laws regulating the residency of medical staff members whose contracts have expired, and that this matter is in the custody of other parties. It also stated that it transferred a large number of nurses to work directly under the ministry. If that is the case, why did this storm happen in the first place? Why didn’t the ministry offer all members of the medical staff the opportunity to work directly under the ministry instead of just some of them, especially since the ministry still needs more medical staff?” The organizations concluded by saying, “As civil society organizations, we feel a great responsibility towards those wronged by the actions of some officials of the Ministry of Health who are indifferent to the interest of Kuwait and its residents — both citizens and expatriates”.