Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): Health Ministry Undersecretary Waleed Al-Manea showed up yesterday to mitigate the criticism and public wave of resentment against the ministry and government, in general, with respect to signing employment contracts with foreigners, while delaying the employment of Bahraini volunteers, from doctors, technicians and nurses, who have been in the front lines fighting the pandemic since more than a year ago.
Al-Manea's statement should be discussed, however, before starting the discussion, we should stress that health sector graduates (nurses, doctors and technicians) should not be unemployed in the first place. Nonetheless, everyone is aware that unemployment in Bahrain is a political rather than an economic problem. A huge number of competent university graduates remain unemployed, while the government continues its policy of favoring foreigners. Let's go over what the undersecretary said on Friday (March 5, 2021).
Al-Manea said that the ministry is proud of its volunteers, especially those who have been in the front lines.
"The priority in employment is given to the Bahraini volunteer health workers based on the vacancies that are commensurate with their qualifications and experience in the health sector," he promised.
The ministry is completing the hiring procedures in accordance with the civil service laws and regulations for many based on the available vacancies, he added.
"The foreign health workers who were hired during the pandemic on temporary contracts and in limited numbers to help confront the coronavirus have specializations that Bahrainis could not currently fulfill, since the current exceptional circumstances do not allow waiting until the completion of their training and qualification. The contracts of the foreign workers will not be renewed after the pandemic is over," he added.
Al-Manea concluded his statement saying that "Bahrainis remain the top permanent option, and the ministry is keen on providing them with job opportunities that are commensurate with their academic qualifications and practical experience."
Al-Manea's statement raises many questions. The justification that the foreign contracts are "temporary" has become a repeated claim used by all ministries, as foreigners are employed in the ministries and then excuses are given to the people that the contracts are only "temporary".
Why then have you employed foreigners? The undersecretary came out to issue a statement after volunteers complained.
One more question is raised: you say that you hired foreigners at the beginning of the pandemic because you found no specialized Bahrainis. Are there specialized Bahrainis in these specialties now or not? Have you announced these jobs before you signed employment contracts with foreigners?
Will all or some of these volunteers be employed?
The most important question is: the volunteers said in their letter, which was published a few days ago, that they were the ones who trained the foreigners who were hired before them, thus people ask you: What are these rare specialties these foreigners have, noting that they need to be trained by Bahraini volunteers before they commence work?
They hired volunteers and honored them and proved that this government has a policy of preference for foreigners that Bahrainis have long complained about, applying what the Minister of Finance said a few days ago, "whoever performs his duty, we kiss his head" statement that fell short just hours after its launch, when the volunteers complained about the hiring of foreigners before them.
Let the rhetoric and deeds speak for themselves, and then the people will judge what you do.