National Ambulance with Foreign Features: Bahraini Paramedics Threatened with Dismissal

2019-06-17 - 8:34 p

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): The Bahraini Interior Ministry announced on Saturday (June 15, 2019) the launch of the National Ambulance Project, according to which ambulance services are transferred from the Ministry of Health to the Ministry of Interior.

Interior Minister Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa said that the project which is "provided with the most developed ambulances and qualified medical cadre guarantees improving the quality of ambulance services."

The Minister didn't clarify the percentage of Bahrainization in the project; however, the photo published by the interior ministry of the staff and vehicles inside Al-Qalaa building (Ministry of Interior) shows that most of the staff are foreigners of east/south Asian origins.

The Ministry's practice of hiring foreigners in such a project is not something new, as it has largely relied on foreigners since its establishment.

Despite the expertise of Bahraini nationals working in the ambulance services field at the Health Ministry, as well as the large numbers of unemployed medical cadres, the Ministry of Interior opted for the employment of even more foreigners.

There are over 100 employees working in the ambulance department at the health ministry. Few of the Bahraini employees were transferred to work in the National Ambulance Project, yet many of them do not know what will come of their jobs.

Health Minister Faeqa Al-Saleh has pledged not to abandon them and said "the rotation option may be implemented according to work requirements, but there should be no worries concerning them [Bahraini employees]. If some of them want to work in the national ambulance, it can be arranged with the Ministry of Interior."

In the same context, a number of Bahraini ambulance drivers, working in the Bahrain International Airport expansion Project under the umbrella of a gulf company, expect to be dismissed from their jobs as the project comes to a finish.

"The company supervising the project has begun dispensing with many workers in the project that is about to come to an end [...] There are 5 Bahraini ambulance drivers, in addition to a number of Bahrainis working in administrative and service jobs," they added.

The group works under a gulf company. They were hired four years ago in the airport expansion project, noting that they hold qualifications for the ambulance field. These workers requested that the officials find them jobs in the Bahrain Airport Company, but they rejected their demand, claiming there were no vacancies.

Although the other Gulf States tend to depend on their national workforce, the Bahraini government still opts for hiring foreigners.

In the United Arab Emirates for instance, the National Ambulance Project has a partnership program with Emirati universities that would allow dozens of Emirati graduates to fill the jobs in the program.

The marginalization of Bahrainis has become worse in recent years, leading to an increase in unemployment of more than 15%, according to international organizations. The Bahraini government has stopped listening to the people's voices demanding the Bahrainization of jobs.


Arabic Version



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