Saudi Arabia is seeking to recruit some 1,000 doctors from Bangladesh, 10 years after the Arab country froze hiring health professionals from here.
“Saudi Arabia officially contacted us on November 21. They want to recruit consultants and specialist doctors from Bangladesh as soon as possible,” said a high official at the Bangladesh embassy in Riyadh.
Bangladesh Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Golam Moshi confirmed the matter after he was contacted by The Daily Star over phone yesterday.
“This is a very positive news for us,” he said. The message has already been communicated to the Ministry of Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment for prompt actions.
The ambassador said the recent visit of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali to the KSA has further strengthened the Saudi-Bangladesh relations, which is resulting in opportunities for Bangladeshis in the Saudi Arabian job market.
The salary for the physicians would be between Tk 3.5 lakh and Tk 7 lakh and they would not have to pay for the travel and other expenses, said an official at the Bangladesh embassy in Riyadh.
Bangladesh's state-run recruiting agency, Bangladesh Overseas Employment Services Ltd, would arrange the necessary paperwork, he added.
Golam Moshi said the Kingdom had imposed a freeze on recruiting medical professionals from Bangladesh in 2016 following “mismanagement” in the recruitment process.
“If we can manage everything well, Saudi Arabia may recruit more Bangladeshi doctors,” he said.
Prof Abul Kalam Azad, director general of the Directorate General of Health Services, said it is true that the public sector in Bangladesh has a shortage of consultants and specialised doctors but there are many doctors in the private sector who can take the opportunity.
So, it is surely a good news for them, he said.
Recruitment of Bangladeshis by the Kingdom had been shrunk between 2008 and 2014.
Saudi Arabia, which is home to some 15 lakh Bangladeshis, resumed recruiting Bangladeshi female domestic workers early last year and male workers since the middle of this year.
However, Bangladesh Association of International Recruiting Agencies (Baira) recently complained to the expatriates welfare ministry that the Saudi embassy in Dhaka is refusing to issue visas to male workers as the recruiting agencies are not sending at least 25 percent female workers simultaneously as decided earlier.