As Covid hits medical fraternity, Indian Medical Association issues red alert for healthcare staff

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BY ASHISH SRIVASTAVA

New Delhi–The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has issued a red alert for the doctors and medical administrators on Wednesday, given the increasing rate of mortality among the fraternity due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The IMA has issued a circular where it asked the doctors to adopt the highest standard of infection control protocols. The IMA officials said that they aimed to ensure the safety and security of the doctors and their family members from the Covid-19 pandemic. The officials also said that the doctors need to introspect their working.

“Doctors need to take charge of the situation and ensure safety for themselves, their families, their colleagues and staff,” the circular read.

Speaking on this, Rajan Sharma, national president of IMA, said, “We have lost more than 100 doctors in the battle against the pandemic. We need to introspect and rethink where we went wrong in this fight. The key to protection is never to lower your guard.”

The circular stated that “If Covid mortality has to be lessened, it has to start with doctors and hospitals.”

The circular further advised that “intense review and updating of all administrative set-ups in the hospitals including the infection control protocols. Any gap in providing for the safety of doctors, nurses and staff have to be closed. A feedback system from the doctors, employees and public needs to be in place. Cleaning and sanitising protocols should be meticulously adhered to.”

The association also told that their suggestions are directed to all the doctors, irrespective of practicing in government or private facilities. However, the doctors in the government facilities mostly rely on the administration and the government for the improvement of the safety measures.

When asked, Sharma said that the association is not blaming and criticising the government. “Our suggestions are directed to the doctors only. We don’t intend to blame anyone,” he said.

Meanwhile, the circular and advices mentioned in it have not gone down well with the government doctors. They said that they don’t have many options and dependent on the government to ensure better safety measures.

Adarsh Pratap Singh, president of the Resident Doctors’ Association at AIIMS, said that rather than advising the doctors, the IMA should raise the problems doctors face during the pandemic. He also said that the suggestions by the IMA would be seen as vague unless they are directed towards the government.

“We are already doing our best. Rather than issuing advises, what the IMA should be doing is to raise the problems we face. It should ask about the vacant posts in the medical colleges and the hospitals. It should question the months of delay in salary dispersion. It should demand a proper safety net provided by the government. If these issues are addressed, our security and working condition will improve automatically,” Singh said.

As per the IMA, around a hundred doctors lost their lives to the Covid-19. “We have gathered data from all the districts, and it shows that more than 1,300 doctors got infected by Covid-19, in which, almost a hundred lost their lives. This situation demands us to be more vigilant,” said R.V. Asokan, honorary secretary secretary-general, IMA. (IANS)

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