Theft of nurses from India continues

13 November 2009

Theft of nurses from India continues

"Theft of nurses from India must stop immediately," says SP Member of Parliament Henk van Gerven. Two Amsterdam hospitals, the AMC and the VUmc, are planning to recruit dozens of specialised nurses from India. "India itself has a shortage of nursing staff," Van Gerven points out. "It is morally objectionable to use our wealth to bring nurses here from poor countries where they are greatly needed." Van Gerven has requested a parliamentary debate on the issue.

Henk van GervenSome months ago Groningen hospital UMCG also recruited specialised nurses from India. In answer to questions put at the time by the SP, Health Minister Ab Klink agreed that he did not believe that this was ethically responsible. "The minister's appeal to morals isn't working," says Van Gerven. "He must make firm agreements with hospitals and other institutions. Recruiting staff from poor countries who are themselves short of health care personnel is unacceptable."

The shortages of specialised nurses are a consequence of past cuts in training programmes. Van Gerven wants to see the government making serious efforts to encourage the training and recruitment of nurses in the Netherlands, which could be achieved through decent pay and an improvement in the training itself.

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