Iraq has welcomed dozens of Indian nurses in recent days to plug a shortfall in its hospitals and healthcare facilities, which have suffered tremendous attrition in recent years, officials said.
A total of 31 Indian nurses have arrived to work in the southern province of Diwaniyah, and 35 have been assigned to Baghdad's Medical City hospital, though information on hirings in other provinces was not immediately clear.
"They will be divided into several groups depending on their specialities and experiences," Diwaniyah health department chief Adnan Turki told AFP on Friday. "Their presence will help to fill the shortage of nurses in our province."
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On October 8, the health ministry introduced 35 Indian nurses who had been assigned to Medical City hospital, which lies in north Baghdad.
"We are expecting a very nice experience here," Marly Thomas, a 24-year-old nurse from Lucknow in India's Uttar Pradesh province said at the time. "We are all thinking that we will learn more from here."
The Indian embassy did not immediately respond to requests for comment, nor did a spokesman for Iraq's health ministry.
Iraq's healthcare system has been improving in the years since the worst of the country's communal bloodshed, when hospitals were flooded with injuries and fatalities tied to the rampant violence.
But it still suffers from "massive attrition" of health-care professionals, said a UN report issued last year.