KEM hospital wants to “punish” infected resident doctors

KEM hospital wants to “punish” infected resident doctors

Written By: / Friday, 05 June 2020 17:36

IT News
Imphal, June 5:

In a bizarre development, the administration of King Edward Memorial (KEM) Hospital located at Parel in Central Mumbai, has accused intern doctors of not following COVID-19 guidelines and thus getting infected and has warned them that they will have to repeat internship for the duration of the quarantine period.
A circular dated 04 June 2020 issued by Dr Gajanan D Velhal, Professor and Head of Department of Community Medicine in Seth Gordhandas Sunderdas Medical College (GSMC) and the KEM Hospital says that, “In view of increased number of interns getting quarantined due to exposure, all interns are hereby directed to submit a written explanation about the nature of exposure and reason for it. If negligence in following COVID-19 discipline is found, the concerned person will be liable to repeat internship for the duration of the quarantine period”.
The KEM Hospital, is one of the hospitals run by the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), having facilities for treatment for both COVID-19 and non-coronavirus patients. Both GSMC and KEM are mainly funded by the municipal corporation. The KEM has been bearing the major load of COVID-19 patients in which the interns are also playing major role.
Some time back, in an open letter to Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, the resident doctors had pointed out that “.there are 35 patients in a ward managed only by resident doctors without any staff nurse or any class IV workers. Resultantly they are left with no means to perform basic activities like getting food, going to washrooms etc. This state is not only in one ward, but similar situation prevails in many other wards. We have tried to take the matter with the higher authorities but no avail, they had pointed out.
All the medical duties which are generally distributed among healthcare workers and nurses are being performed by overworked doctors. Besides, many healthcare workers are refusing to attend to Covid-19 patients. One of the resident doctors said that the situation has been grim since past many weeks and it is getting worse. If nothing is done now, then we will lose all hopes. The resident doctors had shared some of the critical issues faced by them and patients on twitter also.
While every medical professional in COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 hospitals is struggling to get over the disease and give relief to the patients, this circular is the best example of the high-handedness and apathy of authorities towards interns.
As per the data gathered by the Indian Medical Association (IMA) nearly 500 doctors are infected with coronavirus, across Maharashtra. Similarly, according to the Maharashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD), the resident doctors working in government hospitals are the most infected. In Mumbai, while Sion hospital has 70 infected resident doctors, KEM hospital has 40 and Nair hospital has 35.
Although the resident doctors are being given a raw deal, BMC administration has been kind enough towards police and its own staff and has sent an order to Seven Hills Hospital, located at Andheri East in North West Mumbai, directing it to reserve 50 beds for its own staff and another 50 beds for the staff from police department needing COVID-19 treatment.
The order No. AMC/WS/6538/VIP dated 28 May 2020 sent to the “Seven Hills Hospital” by Assistant Municipal Commissioner (WS) says, “You are requested to ensure that these 50 beds are always reserved for police staff and 50 beds for BMC staff and not to allot them to any person other than the police and BMC staff members.
In the meanwhile, IMA has also stated that six doctors (5 from Mumbai and one from Mumbai) engaged in private practise recently succumbed to COVID-19. They included three practicing allopathic doctors. Besides even the infected doctors are not getting bed in the hospitals. As such IMA has began signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with private hospitals, to reserve beds for the doctors.  Some of the hospitals have responded and have began reserving beds for the doctors. They include many Christian missionary hospitals in Ahmednagar district in Western, Saint Luke’s hospital in Shrirampur taluka (has reserved 20 beds for doctors, staffers and their family members), private hospitals in Nagpur and Nashik. In Nanded, eight hospitals are in dialogue with IMA to reserve two beds each in intensive care units for doctors.

About the Author

Raju Vernekar

Raju Vernekar

Raju Vernekar is a Media Professional based in Mumbai and is a regular contributor of Imphal Times. He had served as Chief Reporter at Free Press Journal (1996 – 2015 ). His Activities includes writing for different news papers, script writing/production for TV channels, Films Division. Writing poems in Marathi, Hindi, English, Guiding mass media students and helping people to solve their problems. Raju may be contacted at [email protected]

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