Hundreds expatriates in Oman who worked as government medical staff are left in the lurch after they have been handed reduced gratuity payments.
The medical staff, mainly consisting of Indians and Filipinos, claim that their severance packages have been cut or withheld after long years of service.
12 years gratuity for 25 years service
Almost 500 expatriate medical staff with government service ranging between 20 and 30 years were told to leave in June this year, Times of Oman reported in August.
However, many of them have been told to take 12-year gratuity payment, even though they have worked for more than 25 years in Oman.
This has left many in trouble as banking on the eventual payment of gratuity money they had many plans, including paying off loans.
Many expatriates who took loans from local banks hoping to get full-service gratuity to meet family needs are now struggling to repay them as banks have issued notices.
Embassies approached to resolve the issue
A senior official from the Philippine embassy told the daily that they have forwarded the nurses claim to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Oman.
Hundreds of Indian paramedical staff and medics had approached the Indian embassy with the same claim.
Even after several months, many of them are waiting for their embassy’s response to resolve their issues.
Talking to the Times of Oman earlier, Indra Mani Pandey, India’s ambassador to Oman, said: “The embassy has been working in close cooperation with the concerned authorities in Oman to address the grievances of Indian professionals and workers brought to the attention of the embassy.”
According to medical staff, up until June 2016, everyone who was told to retire or retired voluntarily was supposed to receive full service benefits.
However, the nurses claimed that those who were told to leave after June are not getting full service benefits in line with their years spent in service.
“In 1994, a government decision promised everyone full service benefits. Some of the hospital nurses had gotten it signed, but unfortunately many did not,” a nurse said.
One reader from Oman, who wish to remain anonymous, have forwarded to NRICafe several reports as well as a letter sent by an ex-employee to Oman’s Minister of Health bringing the issue to his notice.
Expat doctors also say they are confused as to what gratuity they will get. “Some are getting full and some are not. It is a worrisome situation. Many have had to leave with slashed gratuity,” one of them said.