Pune city hospitals face staff crunch as nurses leave for hometowns
According to these hospitals, a few hundred nurses, especially from Kerala, have resigned and returned home during lockdown as they feared contagionUpdated: May 25, 2020 16:17 IST
Even as the Pune civic administration has taken control of 80 per cent of beds in private hospitals, there is a severe staff crunch at many of these hospitals as nurses from other states have returned home during the lockdown, and are now unwilling to come back.
During a meeting on Saturday with top authorities, including Pune district collector Naval Kishore Ram, representatives from many private hospitals flagged the issue.
According to these hospitals, a few hundred nurses, especially from Kerala, have resigned and returned home during lockdown as they feared contagion.
In Pune, 70 per cent of nursing staff in most hospitals with more than 100 beds are from Kerala.
Some of these nurses, according to Ram, have refused to come back to the city due to pressure from family, as reported by hospitals.
“These hospitals are primarily concerned that even as they handover beds to government, there may not be sufficient nursing staff. As we assured them that we will also appeal these nurses that the government will provide all kinds of for the treatment of Covid patients,” said Ram.
Ram further said that there is need to build confidence among these staff as there is fear. “We will try and convince these nurses, many of them from Kerala, not to leave jobs. If necessary as last resort, we will act against them under MESMA.”
The state government on Friday decided to take charge of 80 per cent of total operational beds in private hospitals in Pune, Mumbai and other cities.
The Pune district administration held a meeting in this regard with private hospitals and they were appraised about the decision.
Pune-based Nobel hospital, which has been treating Covid patients, reported at least 100 nurses have resigned during past three months to return home.
Most of these nurses, according to hospital authorities, are from Kerala.
“We have been getting resignations of many nurses even since government have started special trains taking back migrant workers have started. On a daily basis, an average of seven want to leave even as we try and convince them to stay back,” said Dr H K Sale, one of the directors at Noble hospital, adding that he hasn’t accepted most of the resignations.
According to Dr Riya Punjabi, medical superintendent at Inlaks and Budhrani hospital, the hospital is facing a class IV staff-crunch, but is able to manage at present with the strength of nurses working.
“At Budhrani hospital, around 50 staff out of 260 have returned to their homes in the last two months. Some of them are reluctant to come back due to the Covid scare. The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) is now helping us with contacts of others where we can call and ask them to work,” Dr Punjabi said, adding that
some staff living in Tadiwala road and Yerawada, which are red zones.
Chief nurse at the Nobel hospital Trupti Nanda said that 80 per cent of the 400+ staff at the hospital hails from Kerala.
“Of these 400-odd nurses, around 100 have returned to their respective towns in Kerala even as many still come to me with resignations,” said Nanda, adding the main concern for them is safety.