A leading UAE-based Indian physician heading a healthcare conglomerate has offered cash assistance and jobs to 46 Indian nurses who returned to their homeland last week after being stranded in a militant-held region in Iraq.
The offer by Dr Azad Moopen, chairman of Aster DM Healthcare in Dubai, comes a day after Dr BR Shetty, chairman and MD of Abu Dhabi-based NMC Group, also offered jobs to the nurses. Moopen has offered cash assistance of Rs 25,000 to each of the 46 nurses to meet their immediate requirement.
Moopen, who is also a director of the Kerala government's department for Non-Resident Keralites' Affairs (Norka), also offered job opportunities to those who are interested in various establishments in India and abroad. "We will recruit these repatriated and devastated nurses on priority at Aster Medcity, Kochi, MIMS Hospitals at Calicut and Kottakkal and DM WIMS Medical College Hospital in Wayanad," he said in a statement. "For those interested to return to the Middle East, we will accommodate them in our hospitals and clinics in the UAE, Oman, Qatar and Saudi Arabia if they fulfill official requirements," he said.
Aster DM Healthcare employs about 4,500 people in India and 5,000 abroad including 1,500 nursing staff in across more than 170 establishments under the network. A counter has already been opened at Aster Medcity in Cheranallur, Kochin, for registration of the jobs offered and collection of the immediate financial assistance.
After about a month's long ordeal in the strife-torn Iraq, the nurses returned to their homeland on Saturday with most of them vowing not to go back risking their lives.
Of the 46 nurses, 45 hail from various districts of Kerala and one belongs to Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu.
Al-Qaeda splinter group the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also abbreviated as ISIS), now simply known as the Islamic State (IS) has carved out a large fiefdom along the Iraqi-Syrian border and declared an Islamic caliphate across the stretch of territory it controls, posing a threat to Baghdad.
The nurses were stranded in Tikrit, a city captured by the militants early last month.