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Tue 21 Oct 2008 08:00 AM

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Bahrain in talks to triple salaries of expat nurses

Wages pledge made to Philippine Labour Secretary in bid to attract healthcare staff.

Bahrain is considering a plan to almost triple expatriate nurses and doctors' salaries in a bid to combat a shortage.

Health Ministry Under-Secretary Dr Aziz Hamza pledged to dramatically increase wages during a meeting with visiting Philippine Labour Secretary Mariantio Roque, Gulf Daily News reported on Tuesday.

Nurses on a salary of around $1,063 could be paid as much as $2,917, depending on their experience, Philippine Embassy Labour Attache Alejandros Santos told the paper.

"We are talking to the Health Ministry and they said they have a new salary package for doctors and nurses who would like to work here.".

He said thousands of Filipinos were expected to come to Bahrain as a result of the new salary packages and improved working conditions.

He said the Philippine government was keen to increase the number of overseas workers in Bahrain and other Gulf countries, where fewer job losses are anticipated as a result of the global credit crunch.

In September, leaders of Bahrain's 6,000 nurses rejected an offer of pay rises averaging 37 per cent.

The Bahrain Nursing Society (BNS) said it would continue its fight for a better deal, despite the new $15 million-a-year package announced by the Cabinet.

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