Recruitment of dentists from abroad halted

The purpose is to reduce unemployment among Saudi dentists and dental school graduates. (SPA)
Updated 10 May 2017
0

Recruitment of dentists from abroad halted

JEDDAH: Dentist jobs will only be assigned to Saudis, as the Ministry of Labor and Social Development said Tuesday it would stop recruiting dentists from abroad.
The decision was made during a joint workshop between the ministries of labor and health, which discussed enhancing the private sector and empowering Saudis of both genders to work in the health sector.
The move will be coordinated by both parties, according to a post on the official Twitter account of the Labor Ministry.
The purpose is to reduce unemployment among Saudi dentists and dental school graduates.
Dentist Afnan Al-Sulami told Arab News that unemployment among Saudi dentists is “a major problem.”
She will finish her internship, a graduation requirement, next month before looking for jobs.
“It is very difficult to find a job as there’s an overflow in the number of dentists, Saudi and non-Saudi,” Al-Sulami said, adding that decreasing the number of non-Saudi dentists will allow more opportunities for Saudis.
Getting a job as a dentist in the governmental sector, which pays more than double the private sector, is highly competitive in Saudi Arabia due to low demand and high supply.
Private clinics and hospitals recruit non-Saudis because they receive lower salaries, “which reflects negatively on us,” Al-Sulami said.
“But now... they (private dental clinics) will have to recruit Saudis.”
If she does not get a job by the time she finishes her internship, she will have to pay to get trained at a public hospital.
This is what Merfal Al-Habbab had to do after she graduated from dental school in Jeddah and finished her internship in 2015.
She spent 10 months training at a public hospital, paying SR1500 ($400) a month.
“We graduated a class of 72 dentists. Very few of us are now employed,” Al-Habbab said.
Some of her male colleagues got government jobs in remote areas to escape unemployment.
The Jeddah-based dentist said very few government sector jobs became available since she graduated.
Al-Habbab, who now works at a private clinic, told Arab News that she and another colleague were the only Saudi dentists there.
She said the labor and health ministries’ decision will boost job opportunities for Saudi dentists, but low salaries in the private sector is another problem that needs to be addressed.
“Salaries are very low,” she said. “A graduate dentist can get a job at a public hospital for SR16,000-SR18,000, whereas in the private sector it is a range of SR5,000-SR8,000.” Al-Habbab added that a receptionist’s job would probably pay the same.
This salary is lower than the monthly allowance of the required internship, which is more than SR9,000. “There has to be a minimum wage for doctors and dentists working in the private sector so it becomes an attractive workplace for Saudis,” she said.
Around 10,150 dentists are registered at the Health Ministry, according to statistics released in 2014.
Last year, a jobless Saudi dentist filmed himself burning his dentistry certificate outside the Civil Service Ministry building in Hafr Al-Batin city because he could not find a government job.


Saudi Cabinet: Houthi attacks branded ‘war crimes’

King Salman chairs the Cabinet’s session in Jeddah on Tuesday. (SPA)
Updated 26 June 2019
0

Saudi Cabinet: Houthi attacks branded ‘war crimes’

  • Coalition has right to take all steps in defense, say ministers

JEDDAH: The recent wave of deadly terrorist attacks by Iranian-backed Houthi militants on civilian targets in the Kingdom were on Tuesday branded as “war crimes” by the Saudi Cabinet.
A ministerial council meeting, chaired by King Salman, condemned ballistic missile and drone raids, which it said presented a major threat to regional and international security.
In the wake of Sunday’s second terror strike this month on Abha International Airport, which killed a Syrian national and left 21 civilians injured, ministers stressed the right of the coalition to take all necessary measures to deal with the attacks under international laws.
The Cabinet session, held in Jeddah, welcomed a joint statement by the US, the UK, the UAE and Saudi Arabia expressing concern over rising tensions in the region caused by the “dangerous” peace-destabilizing activities of Iran in Yemen, the Kingdom and throughout the region.
Ministers offered their condolences to family members of the Syrian who died during Sunday’s Houthi attack on Abha airport in the south of the country and wished a speedy recovery to the people wounded in the strike.
In other business, the Cabinet highlighted the final communique of an emergency meeting of Arab finance ministers, which pledged their commitment to providing a safety net to support the Palestinian authority’s budget to the tune of $100 million each month.
The Kingdom was also thanked for its continued backing for the Palestinian cause.
Meanwhile, in a statement to the Saudi Press Agency, Minister of Media Turki Al-Shabanah said the Cabinet emphasized that the choice of Saudi Arabia to become the first Arab country to be granted full membership of the intergovernmental Financial Action Task Force, was due to its efforts in combating money laundering and terrorist financing.
The Cabinet session also gave the green light to the Saudi culture minister to discuss two memorandums of understanding (MoUs) on cooperation with his counterparts in South Korea and Japan.
The chairman of the Saudi General Entertainment Authority (GEA) was authorized to hold similar talks on MoUs with his opposite numbers in the UAE, Kuwait and Bahrain.