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Thursday, August 5, 2021

As recruitment ramps up, still no opening date for delayed Sidra

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Images courtesy of Sidra

Recruitment for the much-delayed Sidra Medical and Research Center is now in full swing, but the hospital’s management is still unwilling to commit to a firm opening date for the facility.

The development, billed as “an ultramodern academic medical center” dedicated to the care of women and children, was originally slated to open in 2011, and then postponed until the end of 2012.

Last year, however, hospital spokesman Khalid Al Mohannadi told Doha News that the management team was aiming to have Sidra fully operational by 2015.

However, this week, the hospital responded to a request for an update on the project by saying things are still fluid, due to uncertainty over when work on the building will be completed. In a statement, Sidra said:

“Sidra’s opening date depends largely on building handover and the completion of construction. Patients’ outcomes are the highest priority, and rigorous processes are underway to ensure that Sidra operates to the highest standards and opens only when the building is ready for safe patient care.”

Notably, however, several job advertisements on Sidra’s website continue to state that the center is still aiming to be open “in early 2015.”

Recruitment drive

Despite the uncertainty over its opening, Sidra is currently in the middle of a huge recruitment drive. Recruitment literature states that the hospital is aiming to increase its current administrative staff of 450 people to some 5,000 employees when it opens.

The hospital says it is “committed to recruiting talented and passionate staff who can deliver the best possible care to patients,” and as such it has set a high bar in hiring nurses, doctors and team leaders from centers of excellence around the world.

According to Sidra’s recruitment pages, the hospital is seeking very specific candidates. Advertisements for nurses, for example, call for experience from “an Academic Medical Center” in North America, the UK, Ireland, Western Europe, South Africa, Australia or New Zealand.

Similarly, adverts for doctors show a preference for qualifications from the US, Canada or Europe, although they also state that qualifications from other countries may be deemed acceptable.

When asked about the requirements, a spokeswoman from Sidra told Doha News that “anyone who meets the job-specific recommendations is welcome to apply, and is reviewed.”

In order to tempt qualified Western doctors and nurses, Sidra is promising a comprehensive employment package.

Schooling concerns

According to the job advertisements, Sidra is recruiting both single and married nurses, and is prepared to sponsor and house their families and pay their children’s school fees.

However, discussions among applicants on a popular expat forum suggest that there is confusion and considerable concern about the center’s promise to “assist with school placements.”

The current shortage of school places in Doha’s private schools, coupled with the recent introduction of rules banning new entrants after January each year, are leading some job seekers to doubt their prospective employer’s reassurances.

One British midwife who was recently interviewed for a role at Sidra told Doha News that she will not accept an offer to begin a role at the hospital early next year unless her two children have firm school places.

This is a considerable challenge in Doha, where popular schools generally only assess and admit new pupils to waiting lists every spring for entrance in the following September.

In response to these concerns, Sidra told Doha News that “all Sidra employees have school spaces for their children.” A spokeswoman continued:

“Plans are in place to ensure that we have the necessary school spaces allocated to meet the needs of employees joining us. We have agreements in place with high quality schools around Doha and are in regular talks with other schools to meet future needs.”

The center has confirmed that it has some reserved spaces for employees’ children at Qatar Academy Sidra (although not, as some applicants believe, all places in this school), as well as relationships with “several other schools in Doha,” although it has declined to specify which these are.

Thoughts?

31 COMMENTS

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Guest
Guest
7 years ago

Honestly have they been at the bachelor hospital for men? 700 people in the line first 30 mins of opening. WHY are these guys not getting a new hospital? They are workers and they lose 1 day pay for just waiting in line. It is sad Qatar… Islam says help one another, greed says something else, and if you think you are better then anyone you are not. We are all one flesh and blood. Whether or not you believe in god or not you should treat people right. Whether or not you want more money you can give a bit away as you won’t take that money to your afterlife. Also It take approximately 200 billion to help every person earth. Why don’t we do that with all the money Qatar is making in less then 5 years…… Wait what did you say greed? Oh ok I will just save more money in the bank and treat people like ants…… Wait what did you say History? Oh ok nothing last forever…. Wait what did you say wisdom? Oh ok the poor will have nothing to eat except the rich in the end…. Then again why am I here? To make money,buy stuff and help my family.

A_qtr
A_qtr
7 years ago
Reply to  Guest

They’re are three such hospitals under construction, one in industrial area, one in maisaed and one in ras laffan

Kurt
Kurt
7 years ago
Reply to  Guest

I see your good intentions but spending 200 billion or so to help every person on earth will just lead to a tremendous population boom in the next 10 years which will then require maybe 2 trillions to be spend to cover their needs!.. besides, there are about 2 billion people in urgent need on earth, how can you help all with just 200 billion? give them 100 usd each to help them for the rest of their life?? Distributing cash and aid to poor is not the solution but just saving the day. Social, educational and technological implementatins need to be done by each government to reduce uncontrolled reproduction and create jobfields. Citizens of any country without agricultural or technological production and manufacturing are expected to get poorer and suffer forever.

johnny wang
johnny wang
7 years ago

………….Similarly, adverts for doctors show a preference for qualifications from the US, Canada or Europe, although they also state that qualifications from other countries may be deemed acceptable………The recruitment agencies would do well to remember that just because the qualifications comes from this above places that the cadidates would automatically be highly qualified and special just because where they and their qualifications happen to come from

desertCard
desertCard
7 years ago
Reply to  johnny wang

Because of the stringent qualifications you must meet to become a doctor from these places. It would be foolish to think a doctor who is trained in Thailand, Jordan, Egypt, India, Pakistan, etc etc is better qualified than one from the US or UK/Europe. They may have the aptitude but the quality of training and the resources for that training is sorely lacking. That’s why many of these other nationalities go to the US/UK/Europe as the training is superior. That’s why those who don’t have the aptitude from those places might go to Grenada or other “off shore” schools. It’s easier to get the degree.

Observant One
Observant One
7 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

Exactly! So many top notch medical and specialist training available elsewhere isn’t there! Some people for ever think they are always being discriminated against when they just wear their underwear far to tight.

Chipper fluffypants
Chipper fluffypants
7 years ago

Curious about the compensation…. my pediatrician back in the States looked into a position at Sidra. He said the pay and benefits would equal almost half of what he is making now with him in a private practice. Even with it being tax free, it was far from anything he is already making. Not worth uprooting his family. Plus he doesn’t even have kids.

Observant One
Observant One
7 years ago

Yep. Friends of mine have been offered position but the remuneration is not where it should be. Might not hit the highs it’s expected too unless they lift the remuneration.

desertCard
desertCard
7 years ago
Reply to  Observant One

The weird thing is they have 450 employees as of now. Be interesting to know the turnover in staff they’ve had. Last year I was going to buy a car from one leaving after she finished her 2 yr contract. And from what she told me there were many like her who had finished their contracts, both support and med staff, and leaving. Why would you need 450 person staff before opening? Same happened at Aspetar. They had a full support and med staff 2 yrs before opening. The turnover from hiring to opening was close to 75-80%. Not great planning.

fullmoon07
fullmoon07
7 years ago

In fact, that’s the issue. They want top doctors from Europe/USA and they want to pay them peanuts. Doctors won’t leave their jobs in European countries or the US if they are paid so. This is because whoever is trying to bring them here think he can pay them like someone coming from Sudan or Egypt. These top doctors have salaries in US $ or euros! Like contacting a surgeon from Spain who was offered half of the money he makes back home; of course he did not come!

desertCard
desertCard
7 years ago
Reply to  fullmoon07

That’s why other than Aspetar I know of no western doctors on staffs. I could be wrong but I’m at Ahli and Hamad quite a bit and see none. Aspetar has a few Europeans.

fullmoon07
fullmoon07
7 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

you’re quite correct! Ahli had a couple of Germans, I think now it is only one…..Aspetar has a few good Americans and Europeans, but even there some have left.

desertCard
desertCard
7 years ago
Reply to  fullmoon07

Weill Cornell Med College is putting out some doctors every year but only about 30 and only 2 or 3 are Qatari. Almost all do their residency in the US and either stay there or go back to their home countries to practice medicine after.

KK
KK
7 years ago

Sorry Sidra, you will have to put cash on the table. It is as simple as that.

DavidRSS8
DavidRSS8
7 years ago

Sounds like Sidra is the the new airport.

SHELLsafety
SHELLsafety
7 years ago

As someone who lives in Doha, I have to go all the way to Daayen to get my kids vaccinated. This country seems to misplace its priorities – glitz over real service – in medical sector and everywhere else. I don’t care when Sidra will open. I do care when might I hope to have easy access to primary care. The primary care in this country has severely limited competence and capacity… in terms of both health care workers and the support staff.

Curiosity Killed the Cat
Curiosity Killed the Cat
7 years ago

An American I met, said he still paid US tax on his wage here?? That’s some big wages when you factor in the high cost of living here and needing to pay tax, is Sidra really willing to pay that much?? I’m impressed if they do!

Chipper fluffypants
Chipper fluffypants
7 years ago

If you work for an American company (Education City universities) you still pay FICA-Federal taxes. But, many many of these universities will pay that tax burden for you. If you worked for Sidra, then no taxes.

desertCard
desertCard
7 years ago

No, Americans pay taxes no mater the source. Now the trail to your income is less clear to the IRS if you’re working for a non American company but if you do cheat and get caught… God help you. So if you take a job at Sidra you WILL have to pay taxes. It’s called foreign earned income. And no, the Americans in education city do NOT have their taxes paid by the universities.

Chipper fluffypants
Chipper fluffypants
7 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

See my reply above…..

JG Vargas
JG Vargas
6 years ago

Dont bother to explained again. People just don’t get it. lol

Diego
Diego
7 years ago

And whats that nice building in West Bay called, Office for Municiplal Planning?And what kind of work do they do?

desertCard
desertCard
7 years ago

No, Americans pay taxes no mater the source. Now the trail to your income is less clear to the IRS if you’re working for a non American company but if you do cheat and get caught… God help you. So if you take a job at Sidra you WILL have to pay taxes. It’s called foreign earned income. And no, the Americans in education city do NOT have their taxes paid by the universities.

Chipper fluffypants
Chipper fluffypants
7 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

First, yes…. A certain university does in fact pay for any taxes owed over $93,000k. I should know as we work there. Second, You are correct though all Yanks do pay taxes, though most everyone I know doesn’t because they haven’t hit $93k.

desertCard
desertCard
7 years ago

But all the “extras” are considered income. Housing, car allowance, home leave allowance, kids education etc etc. ANY monies or property you receive are taxed as income. And if after that they haven’t hit 93K they’d be better off at home. I work at one as well. And uncle sam does his number on us every year. I guess if you’re single with no children but seriously if you’re making that low a salary where you home leave pay, housing, car allowance + salary doesn’t get you to over 100k, why be here? Rents here are at least $40k a yr on the very cheap side, my villa $80k+. And no they don’t pay the taxes over 93k. They can’t.

Imran Shark
Imran Shark
7 years ago

So doctors qualifying from US, Canada, Europe have far superior training than doctors from the third world – that’s a ghastly generalisation – I wonder why the HMC set up a hospital here in Qatar that is run entirely by Cuban medical staff then? I think good and bad doctors are like good and bad professionals in any profession – yes the training and “labels” count but they are not the deciding factor – having a strict criteria for selection is not wrong but being racist and exclusive to certain nationalities will not get you what you want. What I have seen is that certain expat nationalities prefer their own national doctors to treat them and that is a different matter altogether.
Anyhow, the issue of packages and money is not the main issue, companies around Qatar are coughing up higher packages across sectors compared to any GCC countries and respective home countries esp in Europe, US, Canada – that’s why people come and stay here. Sidra (QF) is probably no different. For senior doctors / consultants the issue is not just money – it’s about the infrastructure, the support staff, the “firm”, having the right team who you trust, having the ability to transition and continue with your research and remain plugged into the medical profession back home. These are major factors that are unique to hospital staff – a problem throughout the GCC that I believe can only be solved if they beef up their hospital training infrastructure and start training people locally (home grown Doctors).
Keeping staff here is another issue altogether, people will leave for things such as lack of access to schooling, specialist medical care (esp if they or family memmbers have some chronic issues), and net getting fullfilment from their careers – either this guttering culture of not giving promotions unless you threaten to leave or not seeing value and creating knowledge cultures within corporations, the culture of bums on seats and everyone is replaceable doesn’t create “value” in any organisation over a long period of time.

Observant One
Observant One
7 years ago
Reply to  Imran Shark

Racism in Qatar? Where? Surely you jest?

desertCard
desertCard
7 years ago
Reply to  Imran Shark

Yeah, and no disrespect to Cuba meant, but do you really think they’re better trained than Americans/Europeans? Overall yes, the quality of training is much higher in the US?Europe. And a report came out last year that some 30% of doctors here have forged credentials. And they weren’t American or European.

JG Vargas
JG Vargas
6 years ago
Reply to  desertCard

Yes, I do. My aunt had a brain tumor years ago. She traveled from Mexico to USA (Houston) to have surgery and treatment. The team of doctors in Houston, recommended to do it in Cuba, the doctors did not offer any help but after going to Cuba, the treatment was a success.

desertCard
desertCard
7 years ago
Reply to  Imran Shark

There’s only one accredited med school here and that’s WCMCQ. They graduate an average of 2 Qatari doctors a yr. Not going to be able to keep up at that pace.

Karthik
Karthik
6 years ago

Based on your conversation i hope that Sidra will only prefer US, UK & Europeans is it so ? or its applicable only for Doctors & nurse, My questions is Job categories like Accountant, Administration & Business supports also they are looking the above nationality or they will consider Asians also…..
Please advice.

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