SAUDI Arabia has stepped up an aggressive recruitment of Nigerian doctors using a government-licensed recruiting agency based in Abuja known as Meed Consultants to woo as many medical practitioners as possible.
Under the plan, Meed Consultants, is recruiting doctors in different specialities under a programme tagged Saudi Ministry of Health Doctors Recruitment August 2021. Earlier today, the agency interviewed doctors who registered for recruitment on its website at a time when the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (Nard) are currently on strike.
When contacted on the matter, Nigeria’s labour and employment minister Dr Chris Ngige, himself a medical doctor, denied knowledge of the exercise. He added: “I am not aware of that, so can you please contact the health minister as his ministry is in charge of doctors.”
Nard president, Dr Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi, said that doctors were at liberty to do whatever they wanted to do since the government had failed to fulfil its promises. He added that there was no benefit for any doctor still practising in Nigeria, saying those who were staying back were only being patriotic.
Dr Okhuaihesuyi said: “Everybody is free to do whatever he/she wants as the government has not fulfilled its promises to the health sector. Those who stay behind are only doing so because of patriotism, not as if there is any benefit or something.”
Today’s interviews for the Saudi jobs were held at the Ladi Kwali Conference Centre, Sheraton Hotels, Abuja. Some doctors said this was not the first time the firm would be recruiting for Saudi authorities, with one of them adding that the agency conducted a similar interview in 2018 for medical consultants.
He said: “This is not the first time they are organising such recruitment. This was also done in 2018 when they held one in Lagos and another in Abuja.
“Lots of doctors are coming out today. It is not about being an Islamic country, it is about conditions of service. As a Christian, if it means I have to go to an Islamic country to get better conditions of service, then I will go.”