Kerala invests in training nurses for overseas jobs, minister says


The government of Kerala has plans to invest in training health workers.

Kerala, the state whose development indicators are comparable to those of the first world, will invest in the training and export of health workers with the aim of capitalizing on their remittances, said its Minister of Finance Thomas Isaac .

Countries have “realized that a lack of investment in the public health system can, in times of a pandemic, be totally debilitating for the national economy,” Isaac said in a telephone interview. “There will be a demand for Kerala nurses and paramedics all over the world.”

Kerala has historically benefited from a large expat population who send money home, thus contributing to economic and social gains such as India’s highest literacy rate and lowest sex ratio. highest in the country. The state accounted for about a fifth of the roughly $ 80 billion returned last year by Indians living abroad.


The state government’s plan to invest in training health workers comes as the World Bank estimates a sharp drop in global remittances following disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic, including job losses.

Mr. Isaac does not see an immediate drop in remittances, however. “For the simple reason that people are going home. Therefore, they would bring back all their savings,” he said.

A sharp increase in invisible net receipts, which includes cash remitted to the country, helped India’s current account tip into a rare surplus in the quarter ended in March, according to the Reserve Bank of India. Remittances from Indians employed abroad and other private transfers increased 14.8% from a year ago to $ 20.6 billion during the period, the RBI said.

When remittances decline, consumption will be the biggest victim, Isaac said. Construction activity will contract sharply and real estate will be depreciated in the near future, he said. Kerala’s per capita consumer spending is the highest in the country, he said.

The state has unveiled a number of programs to rebuild its economy after the pandemic. These include improving technological infrastructure and offering loans and interest concessions to companies wishing to relocate to the state. The government will also borrow 500 billion rupees ($ 6.7 billion) for this purpose through its Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board unit, while health spending will increase dramatically, Isaac said.

Although Mr. Isaac did not say how much the state would invest in training health workers, a World Health Organization study shows that the number of institutes offering nursing and midwifery training has increased. than doubled between 2005 and 2016.

“There is a total collapse in aggregate demand, and so common sense tells you that you borrow and spend, so that demand picks up,” he said. “This is the way out of the recession.”


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