Durban: More than 350 Indian nurses have been recruited by three major South African health care companies to work in the country facing shortage of medical staff.
The companies that recruited the nurses are Netcare, Medi-Clinic and Life said they are planning to recruit even more staff from India.
The nursing director of Netcare, Eileen Branigan, said she interviewed more than 900 nurses during a two-week-drive in South India. “They are eager to earn rands and move to South Africa with their families”, said Branigan.
“In a period of two weeks I interviewed 900 nurses who want to work here, but it will take us a process of six to eight months to get them registered with the nursing council. We are hoping to bring 300 people from India early next year. We have a corporate permit for 700 nurses.
“Because of the exchange rate, they can make more money here and send it home than if they worked at home. We are on a major mission to find staff,” she said. The nursing director of the Life Group of Hospitals, Eloise Van Niekerk, said they had already placed 23 nurses from India in various hospitals.
They would return again in October on another recruitment drive. The Medi-Clinic Group had received more than 3,500 applications from nurses in India to work in South Africa.
They had also recruited a number of Indian nurses to work at their hospitals. “Nursing is still a calling in India and they have compassion, so we have brought them to help instill the nursing nursing quality of compassion in our local staff as well”, she said.
All three groups said Indian nurses, both male and female, were highly-skilled, educated and proficient in English. South Africa has a shortage of 40,000 to 50,000 nurses.