Netherlands: Turkish, Moroccan women needed in health-care

Netherlands: Turkish, Moroccan women needed in health-care

There should be more women of Turkish and Moroccan backgrounds in health care, according to a study "A tip of the veil". There is a strong taboo on physical contact with patients and direct association with colleagues at work in the more traditional Turkish and Moroccan community.

The study was carried out by the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Labour Studies (AIAS) Of the University of Amsterdam and the Dutch Centre for Expertise in Vocational Education and Training (ECBO) for SIGRA.

The conclusion is not new. It's been argued for years that immigrants should enter the health-care field. But Turkish and Moroccan women are rarely attracted to the field, unlike women of Surinamese or Antillean origins.

For the mostly Islamic women, the impediments to work in nursing are not so much religious as social-cultural. The study shows that how strict the social control is and how religion and life-orientation are seen at home is most critical.

The report gives various concrete solutions. There should be more informational campaigns on a wide-scale of the - mostly unknown - career opportunities and possibilities in health care.

In addition educational institutions could offer these vulnerable groups more guidance, but taking mentors and by devoting more attention in the curriculum to cultural diversity.

Finally, health-care institutions should adapt their care to these new target groups, out of social and financial reasons. New care arrangements could help in supplying care, and thereby increase market-share.

The researchers ask for a multicultural personnel policy, with concrete investment in education and career opportunities for potential novices. As one of the interviewed women said in the report: "An elephant doesn't fit in a giraffe skin."

Source: BSL (Dutch)

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