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Drawn by higher wages, nurses exit private hospitals for govt-run facilities

Rahul Wadke Mumbai | Updated on August 13, 2020

Nurses are leaving private hospitals and are joining State government hospitals and those run by other government bodies   -  Paul Noronha

The 156 days fight with the Covid virus in Maharashtra has put a lot of strain on health infrastructure in the State with private hospitals fighting to retain para-medic staff, especially trained nurses.

Nurses are leaving private hospitals and are joining State government hospitals and those run by other government bodies, such as municipalities and local self-government, as they are offer better pay and job security.

Hundreds of nurses have also returned to their native States, due to lower pay, fear of Covid infections and lack of residential and quarantine facilities.

The Director of Medical Education and Research, Tatyarao Lahane told BusinessLine that there has been an issue of paying a stipend to trainee nurses and salaries to trained nurses with private hospitals. The Maharashtra government had suggested to the private hospitals that the stipend should start at₹20,000 (per month), which would be on par with some of the municipal hospitals but that was not acceptable to the private hospitals, he said.

Lahane, who is also the Administrator of the Maharashtra Nursing Council, added that keeping in view the current situation the State Government has also decided to start fresh recruitment of 2,500 nurses, for which all the formalities have been completed, he said.

President of Indian Medical Association (Maharashtra), Avinash Bhondwe told BusinessLine that private hospitals in Maharashtra are facing a shortage of nurses as the State Government has also made some emergency recruitments with starting salaries upwards of ₹30,000 per month. The shortage has also precipitated as there has been an exodus in March and April of nurses, who have gone back to their native states such as Kerala, he said.

General Secretary of the Thiruvananthapuram-based Kerala government Nurses Association, T Subramanian said that the nurses have come back from major cities of Maharashtra due to lower pay, inadequate facilities and fear of rising infections. However, they are willing to go back provided they are given proper residential facilities and better salaries, he said.

Published on August 13, 2020

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