'Nurse bribes' firm under probe
Manama , October 10, 2008
An international investigation is being launched into a Bahrain recruitment company accused of demanding bribes from nurses looking for jobs.
Indian Embassy officials in Bahrain are to investigate the allegations and agencies in India which deal with the firm are to be monitored.
An official report will be submitted to Bahrain's foreign ministry if the allegations are found to be true, Indian Ambassador Balkrishna Shetty said on Thursday.
The company's claim to be an official recruiter for Salmaniya Medical Complex was also denied yesterday by senior Health Ministry sources.
An investigation is also being launched by the BDF Hospital, which does use the agency, with an appeal for alleged victims on its staff to come forward.
The GDN reported on Wednesday that the company had allegedly been demanding money under the table from nursing applicants, to secure places on the final shortlist.
The Manama firm, which cannot be named for legal reasons, has been hired for the last three years by the BDF Hospital and other private hospitals to recruit medical staff on their behalf.
Nurses allege they have been asked to hand over money to the company's chairman in Bahrain or his business partners in Mumbai, Kerala and Bangalore, in India.
If the applicant has a relative or friend in Bahrain who can arrange the money, they can allegedly hand over the cash to the chairman directly.
However, those who hand over the cash only make it onto a shortlist and are not even guaranteed a job in the end, applicants have claimed.
Even if they are selected, they say they have no assurance that they will retain their job.
Some of the nurses who allegedly gained employment in this way have reportedly had their contracts terminated after a year, because they were never suitable for the jobs in the first place.
The company chairman, who is Indian, had earlier told the GDN that his firm was the official Bahrain recruiter for the SMC.
However, the ministry had never hired any Bahrain company to recruit nursing staff on its behalf, sources said yesterday.-TradeArabia News Service