Kerala is expected to send a team of doctors and nurses to Maharashtra by the end of this month after the Maharashtra government’s request for help last week.
The Directorate of Medical Education and Research in Maharashtra had written to Kerala health minister K.K. Shailaja on Saturday requesting 50 trained specialist doctors and 100 nurses from the state on a temporary basis. The team was needed to manage a 600-bed dedicated Covid-19 centre being set up at Mumbai’s Mahalakshmi Race Course, the letter said.
DMER’s director said cases were expected to rise in Mumbai and Pune.
“Our team is likely to head for Maharashtra by the end of this week,″ said an official with the Kerala health minister told The Week’s Cithara Paul. “There is some reluctance among nurses as the payment is very less compared to what they get in Kerala. But we will be able to work it out,″
Maharashtra has offered to pay MBBS doctors Rs 80,000 a month, MD/MS specialist doctors Rs 2 lakh per month and trained nursing staff Rs 30,000 a month. The state also said it would take care of accommodation, meals, medicine and personal protective equipment for these doctors and nurses.
According to Indian Express, Maharashtra has around 1.5 lakh nurses in both private and public sectors. More nurses are needed in Mumbai and Pune, where a majority of the cases in the state have been reported, officials have said.
Last week, Maharashtra’s health minister Rajesh Tope had spoken to Shailaja to understand the measures taken by her to tackle COVID-19 in Kerala. The state had success with flattening the curve and boasts a very low fatality rate.
Maharashtra’s public health department released a statement saying, “Kerala’s segregation policy, daily tests, measures taken to prevent infection in slums, cooperation of private doctors, shortage of equipment, prevention in containment zones, use of plasma therapy were discussed.”
Shailaja later said, “Tope was eager to understand our standard operating protocol, guidelines, treatment and testing methods that Kerala has successfully implemented to fight COVID-19.”