Low salaries and lack of job security have pushed many Indian nurses working in private hospitals to migrate abroad. However, many such emigrants are forced to work as unlicensed nurses, revealed findings from two studies discussed at the Loyola Institute of Social Science Training and Research (LISSTAR) on Wednesday.
Tamil Nadu, although the fourth largest state in terms of the number of nursing schools and colleges, is also known for its high international labour migration, particularly nurses, revealed ‘Nurses Intention to Migrate Abroad – A Case of Tamil Nadu’— a study by Dr Hisaya Oda, professor, College of Policy Sciences of Ritsumeikan University, Japan. “The state government hospitals pay junior nurses Rs 32,000 to Rs 35,000 per month, while private hospitals pay only Rs 8,000 to Rs 9,000,” he said.
A senior research fellow of Japan External Trade Organization in Bangkok, Dr Yuko Tsujita’s report— ‘Deskilling of Foreign trained nurses – a study of Indian Nurses in Singapore’— pointed out that in countries like Singapore, many Indian nurses fall prey to false promises made by Indian recruitment agents, and end up working without the S Pass, which is needed to work as skilled labour in the country.
“It is not easy for an unlicensed nurse to be promoted to a licensed one in Singapore. Unlicensed nurses need to be recommended by their employers to take the licensing exam, which means they cannot directly apply to licensed nurse positions. As a result, they end up in low-salaried positions and also find it difficult to move to other countries,” said Dr Yuko.
Bernard D’ Sami, senior fellow at LISSTAR, pointed to the high proliferation of private nursing colleges in south India that do not offer comprehensive nurse training and give rise to a large number of unskilled nurses.