The end of the grace period granted to expatriates to correct their residency status has caused a shortage of staff in the healthcare sector, Al-Watan newspaper reported.Many doctors and paramedics worked without transferring their sponsorships to their employers.A source at the Ministry of Health said more than 170 doctors were affected by the new situation and, as a result, their contracts were terminated.
These doctors were serving some 200 different hospitals and medical centers. Hospitals had to terminate their contracts to avoid any penalties, which may include closure, when the grace period ended on Sunday.Some owners of private medical installations said they suffered huge financial losses due to this, as some doctors demanded reimbursement for the damage they suffered.
Head of Jeddah Health Affairs Dr. Sami Badawood said the directorate prohibits the employment of such doctors under regulations already in place.
The rules and regulations for private medical installations grant owners the right to recruit medical personnel from abroad. Badawood said many medical centers obtain licenses and recruit the required medical cadre, but after a certain period they begin sacking them as their services are no longer required. These people seek employment in other hospitals in clear violation of the law, he said, adding that this is one of the perennial problems Health Affairs is facing.