Dawn, Pakistan
04 August 2003

Ministry to launch training courses for nurses

By A Reporter

ISLAMABAD, Aug 3: The ministry of overseas Pakistanis will launch two training programmes for nurses so that they could avail job opportunities abroad.

Sources in the ministry told this reporter that the programmes would be launched in Islamabad and Karachi to impart training to 3,500 nurses. They said during the training, the nurses would be provided boarding and lodging facilities, besides a monthly stipend of Rs5,000.

The nurses will also attend language classes in the National University of Modern Languages, they added.

Under the programmes, training will be imparted to 300 nurses in Islamabad, while 3,200 nurses will receive training at Aga Khan Hospital Nursing College, Karachi.

The sources said there was a great demand of graduate nurses in the US. Pakistan has great potential but due to lack of training institutions, the nurses-doctor ratio is not up to the world standards. The standard ratio is 5:1, while in Pakistan it is 4:1, they added.

They said during the first six months of the current year, 114,519 people availed jobs opportunities abroad, while in the corresponding period last year, only 57,639 people went abroad for employment purposes. This showed a 98.68 per cent increase in overseas employment rate, they added.

The sources said the government wanted to encourage the private sector to promote overseas employment. The visa processing fee for the collective category was Rs4,550, however, the government had reduced it to Rs2,500, they added.

They said the demand of the skilled Pakistani workers was increasing in the Gulf region. Kuwait has removed the seven-year- old sanctions on overseas employment from Pakistan, and the members of the Gulf Cooperation Council have also increased the quota for Pakistani workers, they added.