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Thu 14 Jan 2010 06:55 AM

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UAE private hospitals struggling to retain nurses

Leading healthcare chief says salary disparity tempts nurses into gov't hospital roles.

UAE private hospitals struggling to retain nurses
STAFF RETENTION: Dr Moopen says higher salaries are tempting nurses to move from the private sector to government-run hospitals.

Private hospitals in the UAE are struggling to retain nurses because of a salary disparity with government hospitals, the head of the Gulf’s largest healthcare network has said.

“Getting and retaining manpower is a huge issue in any healthcare institution. We find the major issue [is] when the government recruits from the private sector,” Dr Azad Moopen, chairman of the DM Healthcare Group, told Arabian Business.

“We have an issue where people are bought [over] from abroad, they come here...and even get six months training in the hospital and then suddenly they get a job in the government and then they want to leave.”

Dr Moopen, whose group runs a chain of 70 clinics and pharmacies across the GCC, said nurses can earn more working in the public sector. “Definitely the government has got many jobs that are paid higher,” he said.

There are around 18,000 nurses in the UAE, according to a 2007 Ministry of Health report. The UAE recruits the majority of its nurses from the Philippines, India and other Arab counties but continues to suffer amid a severe global shortage of qualified nurses.

The government has launched a number of initiatives aimed at tackling the problem including increasing salaries. A typical starting wage for a nurse is around AED10,000 a month, according to the ministry.

In November, the ministry announced plans to launch a degree programme aimed at boosting the number of Emirati female nurses. Currently only eight percent of nurses employed by the government are UAE nationals but the ministry hopes to raise the figure by boosting the prestige of the profession by offering a single bachelors degree.

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Robert 10 years ago

Not sure where the DHS 10,000 starting came from but it certainly was not for an Asian Nurse who typically gets about 1/3 of what a western nurse gets. Get rid of the racism on salary and then asian nurses will not flee to Europe and the USA where they get significantly more and not based on Passport origin. I wonder if Dr. Moopen would care to comment on how much a "Start Up" nurse earns at one of his clinics?? DHS 2,000 perhaps? So why the "Big Surprise" on nurses leaving the private and MOH for that matter and going abroad. You know the problem which is 90% on the road to solving it!

Irshad 10 years ago

I agree. I was recently offered a job as a GP in a private hospital in dubai. The salary was not livable. To top it all off, the private hospital group withdrew the job offer even after both parties signed it. There is clearly racism with regards to jobs in the healthcare. I know of people who earn much more as nurses.

philip 10 years ago

As far as i know Nursing job is not everybodys cup of tea. They take the risk of a life of a human being. If anything goes wrong Nurses are the one who get prosecuted and then also they are paid less than the salary of a drivers who are just metric passed. If private sector nurses will be offered the same SALARY, ALLOWANCES AND DUTY HOURS which government hospitals are offering then nobody will leave private sector.In NUTSHELL private sector should refine their policies and offer a BSC nurse AED 7000/- plus benefits..

philip 10 years ago

For the migration of NURSES from Private Hospitals to government hospital "NURSES SHOULD NOT BE BLAMED". Everybody have the RIGHT to find the ways for survival, Nurses are also doing the same. They cannot meet their ends in just a meagre salary which they get from private hospitals after long hours of hardwork, especially during these days when prices are still high for food, clothing and shelter. INSTEAD OF BLAMING THEM WHY DONT Mr. MOOPEN START A REVOLUTION FOR THE WELFARE OF THE NURSES FROM HIS OWN 70 CLINICS?

shiraj 10 years ago

People who rake in millions of dirhams should try to pay their staff reasonably too. Change the attitude of setting salaries based on how much a prospective nurse will earn in their respective countries and then see the result.

Lal 10 years ago

Nurses are classified to be Class 1 employes up in the west.See in middle east these class have been dumped into the bottom. Do think Dr.Moopen should rather think of finding the solution of himeself and ideas in keeping his staffs roots , rather than blaming the society .

Anish 8 years ago

As a staff of Dr.Mooppens group, i can say why the nurses are leaving. The main reason is less salary, pressure from the higher authorities and no other benefits.

JEEJ 7 years ago

private hospital - { ESPECIALY CLINICS ] thinking nurses is a low class people, but they should rmbr with out nurses the hospital is nthg, they are getting harrasment from all side , last 5 year i am working without incriment in a clinic, we have also family , needs v r a human beings , normally one clinic nurse salory is 2500 , one driver getting more than this amount, some doctors never respect nurses , all hospital workers getting more salary. only separations to nurses , with out minimum salory we never sactisfied at all to work,life ...