Flemish hospital starts pilot project to hire Indian nurses

The Flemish Hospital Oost-Limburg wants to employ nurses from India to solve its staff shortage. It is starting a pilot project with UZ Leuven and Noorderhart in Pelt, announced ZOL general director Erwin Bormans on Friday in Het Belang van Limburg.

The hospital plans to bring nurses from the Indian region of Kerala to the city of Genk. "We are leading the training, and are now waiting for the recognition of the diplomas. Initially, it will be about 40 people."

"Labour migration is part of the solution for us," says Margot Cloet of Zorgnet-Icuro. "But before that, there are some bottlenecks that need to be removed. We have raised these issues at both the Flemish and federal levels." 

The recognition of the diploma is one such bottleneck. "You can only apply for recognition of a foreign diploma if an employer commits to you beforehand, but they want to be sure that the diploma is recognised before they commit," Cloet explains.

Flemish hospitals have been dealing with a shortage of nurses for years. Currently, there are 2,400 vacancies for nurses in Flanders.


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