Scottish hospitals see an increase in international staff
(L-R): Shincy, Sonja, Yafika and Vidya-the first four nurses welcomed at NHS Dumfries and Galloway
NHS Scotland has taken a big step in its efforts to increase healthcare staff in the hospitals across the country, with NHS Dumfries and Galloway welcoming the first group of international staff. This includes 191 qualified international nurses, many of whom are from India.
The recruitment process is part of a £19.5m funding package announced last year in a bid to avoid staff shortages as the country emerges from the pandemic. According to a report published by NHS in February, the healthcare system in the country faces severe shortages in terms of staff as the patient waiting lists have shot up.
Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care in Scotland, Humza Yousaf
Humza Yousaf, the Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care affirmed that the number of staff in Scotland’s NHS will rise significantly in the coming months with the health boards taking more international staff on board. He said, “To help deal with winter pressures and pressure brought on by the current Covid wave, we are expanding and investing in our NHS workforce. In October, we set ambitious targets to boost the number of healthcare support staff and step up international nurse recruitment. I am delighted with the success of the recruitment campaigns and seeing the new staff already providing frontline patient care.”
However, Yousaf faced criticism for taking this step. Sue Webber, the Scottish Conservative spokeswoman said, “The SNP have presided over a shocking shortfall of vacancies in our health service during their time in power. They are now patting themselves on the back for playing catch-up when it comes to recruitment. Frontline staff have gone above and beyond during the pandemic but are beyond breaking point. Any additional staff is welcome for our health service, but we need to see more urgency from SNP ministers.”
Picture Credits: BBC