THE Health Ministry has recorded an increase in the number of nurses applying for work in the Golan Heights.
Ministry nursing director Silina Waqa-Ledua told this newspaper her office had received more than 150 applications.
Mrs Waqa-Ledua said keeping in mind the staffing numbers in Fiji, the ministry had short-listed six nurses who would be leaving for the Golan Heights in June.
"We have shortlisted the third group to Golan Heights. We are sending another six nurses — to exchange with the current six serving there," she said yesterday.
Mrs Waqa-Ledua said the increased applications came in the wake of the experience of Fijian nurses in the Golan.
"They are getting lucrative packages and because of the exposure of working in the Golan Heights."
She said as a safeguard against staffing in hospitals around the country, the ministry had introduced a strict short-listing criteria.
"The interest of going to Golan Heights has already increased, so we want to have a much better recruiting process.
"We have got them to apply, we are going to shortlist and then we are going to interview in terms of the needs in Golan."
Mrs Waqa-Ledua said the next batch of nurses would be working in operating theatres and surgical units.
"We are very mindful that at no place are we going to compromise our staffing numbers here — at the same time we are going to keep the balance in terms of honouring the request that has been made."
She said the nurses serving in the Golan Heights were safe and enjoying the experience.
A total of 12 Fijian nurses are currently serving in the area.