Dubai: About 150 doctors, nurses, parademics and health care professionals have taken a chartered flight to be able to work on the special holiday week.
These frontline health care COVID-19 warriors chose to leave the comforts of their native homes and the warmth of their loved ones to join duty, so that UAE residents are able to celebrate the festival with joy and safety. Many of the professionals have managed to save lives of patients since returning to work. The health care staff of NMC Health care were flown back in a series of planned and coordinated flights from India.
The first flight — an 8-seater charter flight from Mumbai, flew in towards the end of last month, carrying a cardiologist, an intensivist, a critical care and pulmonology expert, among others. The entire team upon arrival underwent their mandatory quarantine and tests as per national COVID guidelines.
‘I saved two acute heart attack patients’
Describing the journey, Dr Sanjay Rajdev, Consultant Interventional Cardiology at NMC Specialty Hospital, Abu Dhabi, who was one of the passengers on this special chartered flight, said, “I find myself incredibly grateful to have been able to come back and save at least two lives. These were two acute heart-attack patients on whom I could operate and save.”
In another flight from India, last week, the health care group got back over 49 of its staff, including 31 medicos for its hospitals in Dubai — NMC Specialty Hospital, Al Nahda and NMC Royal Hospital, DIP and NMC Day Surgery Centre, Deira. The staff is currently under mandatory quarantine and is expected to join soon. On Eid Al Adha day, the group has organised two special Air Arabia flights from Kochi and Trivandrum that will land at Sharjah, bringing back 20 critical care team members of NMC Royal Hospital, Sharjah.
Speaking with gratitude for his brave hearts, Michael Brenden Davis, CEO of NMC Healthcare, said, “The staff wanted to come back and serve their patients in these trying and testing times. Accomplishing this required an incredible amount of coordination and logistics with multiple regulatory approvals.”
Davis added, “We worked in tandem with the various regulatory and approving bodies and the ease and speed with which the two regulatory bodies of health care and the National Emergency Crisis and Disaster Management Authority (NCEMA) processed the approvals, was truly incredible.”
India and UAE cooperation
After the private sector health care groups in the UAE had approached the authorities seeking special permission to fly back their stranded health care workers from India, some providers were given special approvals. Last year in May, the UAE sent an Emirates aid plane containing seven tonnes of medical supplies to India to 7,000 medical staff there, while DP World organised for medical oxygen whilst India was struggling with a 600 per cent rise in its demand for the same.
Over the next week, NMC Healthcare is planning to get over 80 of its staff members for all its hospitals across UAE. These doctors, nurses and paramedics would be flying with special regulatory approvals via Kochi, Calicut, Trivandrum, Mumbai, Delhi, Coimbatore, Bengaluru and Chennai.