Foreign firm hired to check health workers’ certificates
The Saudi Commission for Health Specialties (SCHS) has signed a deal with an international company to check the education qualifications of health workers, particularly those coming from abroad. The global firm has uncovered 180 million forged certificates in several countries, Abdullah Al-Zahayyan, spokesman of the SCHS, said recently. The firm will have seven to 21 days to verify a certificate.
The SCHS had previously discovered several instances of workers submitting fraudulent documents to get better-paying jobs. The company maintains a blacklist of those discovered with fake certificates, which would be used as a reference, the SCHS spokesman said. A few months ago, Saudi diplomatic sources said the Saudi Embassy in Delhi, India, was planning to hire a special firm to verify the qualifications of Indians seeking work in the Kingdom. The sources said that the embassy embarked on this plan because many Indian universities have not responded to inquiries about the qualifications of workers. The company’s role would be to expedite these procedures.
The Saudi government and business bodies recently launched a crackdown on fraud across all sectors following the discovery that several citizens and expatriates were holding well-paid jobs with fake qualifications. The plan includes blacklisting and prosecuting individuals and institutions found to be involved in counterfeiting certificates, according to the Ministry of Interior. Violators face fines, imprisonment and deportation.
The Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry recently discovered several people with fake degrees in various parts of the country. The Saudi Council of Engineers has also been investigating its members after 30,000 people were found with bogus engineering qualifications. The Ministry of Education recently found a huge number of Saudis and foreigners who obtained fake degrees and diplomas from illegal agents. A degree can now reportedly be bought in Riyadh for between SR1,000 and SR15,000.