90 Kerala nurses from India stranded in UAE

At least 90 nursing staff from Kerala, who were duped by racketeers promising jobs in UAE, have got work with a health care group

May 25, 2021
Kerala nurses in UAE

At least 90 nursing staff from Kerala, who were duped by racketeers promising jobs in UAE, have got work with a health care group.

The male and female nurses from Kerala - the southernmost Indian state – had got stranded in the UAE after arriving in groups since October last as they fell victim to a recruitment scam.

The nursing professionals had handed over upwards of Dh 10,000 (USD 2,722.58) to recruiting agents who brought them from Keral promising jobs in Covid-19 vaccination and testing centres, Khaleej Times reported.

The recruiters had advertised the jobs on social media and also told the healthcare professionals they did not need a license for these jobs as they would not be placed in hospitals but in in vaccination and testing centres in UAE.

"The recruiters said we would get work at the vaccination centers immediately after the quarantine period, and the licence was not an issue. They tricked all of us. When asked 20 days later, they simply fibbed," said Asha, one of those duped.

Since the nurses arrived on visit visas, they were given Dh5,000 (USD 1386.29) in  cash by the recruiters as show-money to immigration authorities in the UAE. Once they came out of the airport, they had to hand over the money to local agents as part of their commission fee.

Amrutha Antony, another nurse who has found a job with VPS Healthcare, said: "After we arrived here, we were taken to a congested apartment and told to put up there till the quarantine period was over. But when we began questioning them, they asked us to work as nannies, and most of us were unwilling to take up such a low-paying job.”

The number of stranded nurses has now swelled to 400.

However, their tales of woes prompted some leading UAE  hospitals to offer jobs to 90 of them.

But as they don’t have nursing licenses, which is mandatory in the UAE, the hospitals have absorbed them as patient aides and service assistants.

Once the healthcare workers produce the valid documents, they will be upgraded as nurses.

Shamsheer Vayalil, the founder, chairman, and managing director of VPS Healthcare Group, said 41 nurses have already begun working in medical centres and hospitals and 49 more would be joining soon.

Sanjai Kumar, the chief human resources officer at VPS Healthcare, said the group would assist these workers in getting Health Authority of Abu Dhabi (HAAD) and the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) licenses.
Meanwhile,  in India, the Kerala Police have arrested the Ernakulam-based agency responsible for the alleged scam.


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