‘There are cars and health workers, but there is a shortage of drivers’: Kazan citizens refuse to work in ambulance for 35k a month

How Kazan is trying to solve the problem of a shortage of ambulance drivers

‘There are cars and health workers, but there is a shortage of drivers’: Kazan citizens refuse to work in ambulance for 35k a month
Photo: realnoevremya.ru

A shortage of drivers doesn’t yet allow increasing the number of ambulance teams to 100 in Kazan, a low salary is the problem. As Realnoe Vremya was told in the management of the Kazan Ambulance Station, now the republic is trying to solve this problem. Read more in Realnoe Vremya’s report.

“People simply choose a higher salary”

The ambulance service in Kazan switched to a relatively calm working mode after a decline of the next coronavirus wave. 93 brigades work in the city. Kazan’s Ambulance Stations has over 1,700 workers, more than 900 of them are paramedics, about 150 are doctors, 400 are drivers.

There is no deficit of medical staff — the staffing is very high compared to other regions — 97%. But there is still an urgent problem of the shortage of ambulance drivers, vice chief physician of the medical department of the Ambulance Station of Kazan Dina Valiyeva told Realnoe Vremya.

“There are cars, there are health workers, but there is a shortage of drivers,” she stressed.

These workers’ low salary is the cause of the problem. Ambulance drivers’ average salary is 35,000 rubles a month.

At the same time, the Ambulance Station has one of the highest salaries among health workers in Tatarstan. Ambulance doctors receive about 93,000, nurses do around 60,000 rubles. During COVID-19, some specialists earned over 100,000 rubles a month due to overwork.

Photo: realnoevremya.ru

Kazan ambulance drivers to get pay rise

There is a staff turnover among ambulance drivers because of the low salary. Nevertheless, they manage to save existing brigades in Kazan.

“Our staff is more or less good. People simply choose a higher salary. Given the construction of the M12 road and other projects, many went to work there because the salary is higher there and there aren’t shifts. The schedule is not convenient for some, it is impossible to combine for others. It is their choice,” the vice chief physician noted.

The management of the Kazan Ambulance Station sent a request to the Tatarstan Health Care Ministry asking to solve the problem of drivers’ low salaries. The answer cannot help but make them happy:

“In general there is already a positive decision because literally yesterday we were announced that the region was considering to provide additional pays for ambulance drivers,” said Dina Valiyeva.

Photo: realnoevremya.ru

According to a decree of the Tatarstan Cabinet of Ministers, ambulance drivers have been entitled to additional payouts of 4.500 rubles since 1 April. It is expected the workers will receive the money at the end of the month.

Similar support measures were taken for ambulance drivers in Kazan earlier too, for instance, in 2018. 8,000 rubles were added to their salary at that moment.

“The republic envisages the additional payout in such situations due to our petitions. We are heard and always provided with help, we aren’t left alone with the problem. We will hope new drivers will come,” noted Dina Valiyeva.

Yelizaveta Punsheva

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