DHARAMSHALA, September 6: In what comes as a major setback for Tibetans seeking nursing jobs in India the Indian Nursing Council has barred them from practicing in India as they are ‘foreigners’.
The Indian Nursing Council has sent a letter dated March 25, 2013 to all universities and State Nursing Councils stating that all Tibetans, being foreigners, cannot work as nurses in the country.
The letter reads, “Foreign nationals (including Nepali, Bangladeshi, Bhutanese and Tibetan Refugees) having valid certificate of Registered Nurse and Registered Midwife in their own Country as on date of admission; they can be admitted for higher nursing education in India. However, they will not be registered to practice in India. Even no temporary registration will be provided to them during their study period or upon completion under any circumstances, what so ever.”
“We have spoken to the Kashag (Tibetan Cabinet) about this matter and Kashag will address the issue after consultation with the Indian Government,” said Ngodup Tsering, Secretary of the Department of Education.
“The notice says that nurses of Nepali, Bangladeshi, Bhutanese nationality and Tibetan refugees will not be registered to practice in India and that they have to practice in their own country, but we don’t have a country to go back to and work like other nationalities can do,” Tsering added.
He further noted that this time it is the nursing profession, next time a restriction can be on some other profession.
Since the INC letter was issued, many Tibetan nurses in Delhi are facing trouble in getting registration from Delhi Nursing Council. The Tibetan nurses were told to get a letter from INC stating that they are eligible to get DNC registration. However, Karnataka Nursing Council, when contacted, said no such restrictions will be imposed on Tibetans if he/she has done their nursing education in the state.
“Every year hundreds of Tibetans take admission in nursing institutes and spent 4 or more years studying nursing, hoping to make a career in the field, but since INC has issued this notice of barring Tibetans from practicing nursing in India, we really don’t know what to do,” said Tenzin Tsegyal, Post B. Sc Nursing student. “I am afraid we will remain unemployed even after all these years of studies.”
There are several Tibetans, mostly women, studying in nursing institutes or working in various hospitals all over India.