Unemployed health graduates call for employment to fight coronavirus

Ambulances in Kurdistan Region (NRT Digital Media)

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SULAIMANI — The Unemployed Health Graduates and Volunteers Board said in a statement on Saturday (March 28) that, in this time of crisis, the government should leverage all of its resources and employ people in the Kurdistan Region who have health care degrees but are out of work because of austerity hiring policies.

In a letter addressed to Kurdistan Parliament, the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG), and the Ministry of Health, the board claiemd that nearly 5,000 graduates have experience working in the Region’s health care facilities or serving as volunteers during the war against Islamic State. They argued that the fight against coronavirus required everyone to contribute and that they stood ready to do so.

“It has been seven years since the health sector employed enough staff,” the board’s letter read.

“Now that there is another enemy of humanity in the Kurdistan Region: it is time to employ the unemployed health graduates,” it added.

In response to the financial crisis that began in 2014, the KRG instituted broad hiring freezes in most ministries, including the health ministry, leaving thousands of university graduates without jobs in a variety of occupations.

The board said that KRG officials had made promises of future employment in the past and that now was the time to fulfil them.

So far, 128 people have tested positive for coronavirus in the Kurdistan Region and two have died.

(NRT Digital Media)