4 Jun 2002

Fiji government orders nurse recruiters to leave the country

12:28 pm on 4 June 2002

Fiji's nurses are furious that the Immigration Department expelled two recruiters who were conducting interviews for jobs in the United Arab Emirates.

The recruiters, from Healthlink New Zealand, were ordered to leave Fiji within 12 hours.

The secretary of the Fiji Nurses Association, Kuini Ledua, says local nurcses are paid 22-thousand US dollars a year tax-free in the UAE and she says they send about 180-thousand dollars a year back home to support their families.

Ms Ledua says its easy for the government to order the expulsion because they do not suffer the plight of nurses.

She is questioning why the government has not arranged working assignments overseas for nurses, as it has done for soldiers and policemen who serve under United Nations arrangements.

Ms Ledua has called on the government to honour the UN Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women that it signed last year.

She says the government should leave the nurses alone and give them the freedom to better living standards for their families.