Policy Matter

Health ministry support for nurses losing UK jobs

Indian nurses, who may soon have to leave Britain due to its new immigration rules already has a job waiting for them back home.

The health ministry has offered to take in nurses on contractual basis under the National Rural Health Mission (NRHM), which means they would get paid much more than what their counterparts earn in government hospitals. This will also help in overcoming the 2.4 million shortage of nurses in India.Health-ministry-support-for-nurses-losing-UK-jobs

The new UK rules, which intends to cap the number of migrants living there, will lead to almost 7,000 overseas nurses being sent home by 2020, majority of which will be from India. C K Mishra, additional secretary in the health ministry said, “Doctors are paid higher in the private sector but nurses have higher pay in the public sector. We will soon start becoming proactive in getting them back to India”. “If they work under the NRHM, we can play around with their salaries and give them a decent pay,” Mishra added.

The ministry has already broken the upper ceiling in paying specialists willing to work in rural areas under the NRHM. According to Mishra, specialists who were earlier paid around Rs 60,000 are now drawing nearly Rs 2 lakh a month for working in villages. “We have already empowered the states to give whatever it takes to financially encourage specialists to work in rural settings,” Mishra, who is also director of National Health Mission added.

The new rules say that a nurse can stay in UK only if she or he earns a minimum of 35,000 a year, which is the salary of a senior nurse. This is a position that majority of nurses would not reach within six years.


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