Indian nurses head to Gulf for lucrative Covid vaccination stints | Bengaluru News – Times of India


BENGALURU: Some private hospitals in Bengaluru have raised their concern with the Private Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association (PHANA) about nurses quitting abruptly. They are being “lured” with attractive salary packages in Gulf countries for their Covid vaccination drives for 3-6 months, they said.
PHANA has told all member hospitals to report such cases. “At a time when the mass vaccination drive is all set to begin in India, we are seeing the new trend of nurses quitting to go to Gulf countries. Some nurses who quit have been trained by the government to work in Covid vaccination session sites,” a PHANA member told STOI.

According to one advertisement, nurses are being offered 8,000 Arab Emirates dirhams (around Rs 1.5 lakh) per month. The pay package is 6-7 times the salary in Bengaluru. Covid-recovered, unmarried nurses below 40 years and trained in Covid vaccination sessions are much in demand, sources said.
A recent case was at Excel Care hospital near Banashankari, where two nurses quit abruptly, one after the other, in January. Both were male nurses, who had recovered from Covid. “One of them stopped coming to work on January 24. We realised he was hired by a Dubai hospital for a mass vaccination drive and was offered Rs 2 lakh a month. He quit without serving the notice period. He was trained by the Karnataka government for Covid vaccination. We also heard he got the visa within a day,” said Dr Suresh Krishnamurthy, medical director of the hospital.
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Dteam r Krishnamurthy got a shock two added days later his when another nurse quit. “At a time when the pandemic has gradually declined and vaccination has begun, our country may lose trained nurses who go outside for better salaries. The government should take note of it,” he said.
PHANA president Dr HM Prasanna said. “As of now, we’ve heard from two hospitals. We’re yet to get the exact number of nurses who have quit. If a few nurses quit, it won’t be an issue as there is always attrition. But there is a huge demand for nurses abroad for vaccination drives. If many nurses quit, we’ll face a manpower shortage in our own vaccination drives and to tackle the Covid second wave, if it happens,” Dr Prasanna told STOI.
The matter will be brought to the government’s notice if there’s an exodus of nurses, he added. While a 20% attrition rate among nurses is seen annually in city hospitals, it could go up, sources said.



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Sagar Biswas

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