By Peter Kovessy/dohanews.co – Nearly two dozen Filipino nurses have been laid off by healthcare centers operated by Qatar’s government, the Philippines ambassador to Doha has said.
The remarks are the latest confirmation of layoffs at Hamad Medical Corp. (HMC), which come at a time when the country’s healthcare system is struggling to keep up with Qatar’s rapidly growing population.
Ambassador Wilfredo Santos was quoted today in a television interview as saying that more than 500 of his country’s citizens were being laid off from government-run firms in Qatar.
Santos said that most of the affected expats were above the age of 55 years old and were given a two-month notice of termination to find new jobs.
While the Philippines embassy could not be reached for comment on the ambassador’s remarks, it posted a separate news story on its Facebook page saying the government in Manilla was preparing for an influx of laid-off expats to return from the Middle East.
The Manila Times quoted officials as saying the government had a “feasible plan” to ensure that some 1 million laid-off expats could get jobs after arriving home, but gave no details.
Thousands of expats of various nationalities working in Qatar have lost their jobs over the last year as some of the country’s largest employers – including Qatar Petroleum, HMC, Sidra Hospital, Qatar Rail, RasGas and Maersk Oil – reduce their budget in response to low oil prices and reduced government spending.
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