JEDDAH, Jan 15: Expatriate doctors, nurses and medical technicians working in government hospitals will receive pay hike ranging from 15 to 80 percent effective this month, informed sources said yesterday.
Health Minister Dr. Hamad Al-Manie has already approved the plan aimed at attracting more foreign medical consultants and specialists required by the Kingdom’s hospitals, they said.
According to a report carried by Al-Yaum daily, about 100,000 expatriate doctors, nurses and paramedical staff would benefit from the unprecedented hike.
The ministry took the decision after it noticed that many highly qualified doctors at its hospitals were switching to the private sector or moving to other countries in their quest for higher pay.
The new pay hike, according to sources, will cover doctors, consultants, specialist nurses, head nurses and technicians working in surgical and tumor sections. But it will not applied to naturopathy experts, general health staff, sociologists, and nutritionists, they added.
Consultants will receive an increase of between 70 and 80 percent, specialists from 50 to 70 percent, specialist pharmacists 50 to 70 percent, specialist nurses 50 to 60 percent, and specialist medical technicians 50 to 60 percent.
According to a report carried by Al-Riyadh daily, a consultant would receive a monthly salary of up to SR36,000 after the new decision. Doctors will also get an annual increment of SR900 for the years they spent in service for up to 15 years.
Dr. Khaled Al-Mirghalani, spokesman of the Health Ministry, said negotiations were still continuing on the issue. He said a meeting of personnel department directors in Riyadh next Monday would also discuss the issue. “After that meeting we’ll get a clear picture,” he told Arab News.
“This is a very good news,” said Dr. Yassir Bahadur of King Abdulaziz University. “It will encourage specialized doctors to stay in the Kingdom and general physicians to specialize in those areas which are required by the Kingdom,” he added.
Dr. Abdullah Moopan, general director of Al-Abeer Medical Group, welcomed the Health Ministry’s decision and said it would help government hospitals receive services of highly qualified doctors.
“It will also help the poor segments of the community to enjoy the services of such highly skilled and experienced doctors,” he added.
The ministry’s decision will also have a positive impact on doctors in the private sector as their management would be forced to hike their salaries to prevent them from jumping to public hospitals.