NHS nurses

Doctors and nurses to join NHS Wales from India under new workforce agreement

NHS Wales is set to benefit from hundreds of new doctors and nurses thanks to a new agreement between the Welsh Government and the Government of Kerala in India.

A total of 250 new healthcare professionals are set to bolster the health service’s ranks, adding to the 400 internationally educated nurses that were recruited last year by NHS Wales.

Alongside further international recruitment this year, a £5m programme will be launched to support targeted recruitment – this includes ethical international recruitment, which the Welsh Government highlights as a priority.

“This shows our commitment to building a high quality, professional workforce fit for the future.”

The Welsh Government sees international recruitment as a way to supplement the domestic workforce and plug staffing shortages in the short and medium-term.

Wales’ health minister, Eluned Morgan, announced last month that more than £283m would be invested into healthcare training and education this year.

During her visit to India, Morgan met some of the qualified professionals that will be joining the NHS.

One of the new recruits is the nephew of Siji Salimkutty, who joined the NHS in Wales from Kerala in 2004 and has campaigned for international recruitment since, helping people bed into communities and feel at home.

“I came to Wales seeking opportunity, but what I found was a home,” said Salimkutty, who is a nurse practitioner at Cardiff and Vale University Health Board.

“For the past 20 years, working in NHS Wales has been an enriching journey filled with camaraderie, growth, and a deep sense of belonging. It's not just a job; it's a testament to the warmth and spirit of this remarkable place.”

Eluned Morgan added: “Kerala has a long history of training health care professionals and supporting them to come to Wales.”

“I am also delighted that despite the challenging financial climate we have been able to maintain our budget for training healthcare professionals in Wales. This shows our commitment to building a high quality, professional workforce fit for the future.”

Image credit: iStock

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