The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and Mississippi Department of Health (MSDH) plan to have the first groups of contract medical workers in hospitals across the state early next week.
MEMA received requests for 1,378 additional healthcare workers from 73 different hospitals across the state, and plans to fulfill 57 of the requests for around 1,100 workers. MSDH is working to validate the licensing for around 10% of the workers it hopes to deploy over the next eight weeks, according to MEMA Executive Director Stephen McCraney.
McCraney also said that once all 57 requests have been fulfilled, it would open up 680 med-surge beds and 212 ICU beds that are currently unstaffed.
“That’s going to take some pressure off of the medical system in which it currently finds itself because of this pandemic,” McCraney said.
More than 2,000 medical professionals have left the field in Mississippi over the past year, and hospitals across the state are at a breaking point.
The contract workers will cost around $8 million per week, but the federal government will reimburse 100% of those costs. Gov. Tate Reeves said the state typically receives a 50% advance for Stafford Act requests like this, and the state has the cash flow to cover the other half until that is also reimbursed.
-- Article credit to Will Stribling of Mississippi Today --