Ground Report | New Delhi: India might be hit by a severe third wave of Covid-19 and it may last for 98 days said the State Bank of India in its report. According to the latest Ecowrap report released by SBI on 1 June 2021, the third wave of Covid-19 will be as acute as the second wave. In the third wave of covid-19 children are at more risk. Though the report has also mentioned that if proper preparation is made in advance number of fatalities could be decreased.
However, our country is still recording more than a lakh new covid-19 cases every day. Also, the process of vaccination is also very slow in some regions of the country. Many vaccination centres are running out of shortage of vaccines. Moreover, the Human Development Report 2020 has shown that India has only 5 hospital beds per 10000, one of the lowest in the world. Amidst these problems, there is one more major concern which needs to be taken into consideration. And that is the insufficiency of healthcare workers in our country. Today India is suffering from the second-largest shortage of nurses in the world after Bangladesh.
In April, Dr. Devi Shetty who is a cardiac surgeon and well-known entrepreneur has said that in India next big shortage is going to be of doctors, nurses, and other frontline healthcare workers. According to the Union Health Ministry data, India has 1.7 nurses per 1000 people one doctor for 11404 patients which are below than WHO norm that is 3 nurses per 1000 people and 1 doctor for 1100 patients. Howsoever we claim to be “Atmanirbhar”, the reality is that the brain drain in the healthcare sector in India has not stopped yet and caused big damage to the country.
What is brain drain in the Healthcare sector?
The term ‘ brain drain ‘ refers to the movement of health professionals around the world in quest of a better standard of living and life quality and greater income. As per Indian Nursing Council data, India has 2.34 million registered nurses and midwives. We are still short of 1.94 million nurses. It happened due to medical migration which occurred over the past years. Today more than 6.4 lakh Indian nurses are working in foreign countries especially in Gulf, OECD, and some Asian parts.
Why healthcare workers are migrating to foreign countries?
Due to the pandemic, many countries are facilitating lucrative opportunities for health workers as today every country needs health care workers. For instance, France has offered citizenship to frontline immigrant healthcare workers during the pandemic. The UK has also given one year Visa extension for foreign healthcare workers.
Another reason is that Nurses in India are still not well compensated for their hard duty. Their nonstop work, devotion, and sacrifice to save others’ lives over their own and their families deserve to be recognised and rewarded with more than a few flowers. Moreover, the Salary gap between govt and the private sector for nurses is very high in India. Nurses in India have greater salaries and benefits in the government medical sector than in the private medical sector. So most of the private sector health workers try to get jobs abroad.