New Delhi, Nov 17 (IANS) As the Indian healthcare sector is leaving no stones unturned in the battle against the Covid-19 pandemic, the resident doctors at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in the national capital feel that “cases which require complex care are getting neglected” due to the pandemic.
“The Trauma Centre at AIIMS is not able to provide advance care to the most complicated cases. The primary objective of AIIMS is that it has to deal with the most complicated cases (being the country’s top medical institute). But due to the pandemic, we are not being able to fulfil the same properly,” said Adarsh Pratap Singh, President, Resident Doctors Association (RDA), AIIMS.
Speaking to IANS, Singh further said, “Almost all our beds are occupied. Care for ailments other than Covid-19 are being hampered. If we have malignancy, cardiac disease, or other surgeries – our OTs are not fully functional yet. We are still able to admit very less number of patients who have other illnesses. The waiting list of patients for other surgeries used to be from one month to one year, but they are not even included in any list now.”
While the whole nation is currently dependent on the healthcare sector, medical professionals are facing immense mental presusre due to the extended shifts and delay in payments.
“We have seen how people have dealt with the healthcare workers during the pandemic, how they have been assaulted, thrown out of their houses by landlords etc. Due to all these factors, their morale is down and they don’t work with utmost productivity,” Singh said.
He added that the government health services have been ignored since long due to which healthcare workers don’t have adequate security at their workplaces.
“Since long through our associations we have been demanding that the government should provide more security to the healthcare workers in government hospitals. These workers come in direct contact with many diseases, have long working hours – all these are challenges for them. Due to this, doctors and other healthcare workers may not want their children to follow their profession,” he said.
He said the government should understand the situation and through rules and regulations, provide adequate safety and protection at every level to all the healthcare workers. They should also get their salaries and incentives on time, so that they don’t face financial burden, he added.
Commenting on the current situation at the hospitals across the country, Singh said, “AIIMS per se is well prepared to deal with the pandemic. Our Trauma Centre has been kept exclusively for Covid-19 patients. We have witnessed a sudden spike in the number of Covid cases this month. The foremost reason is that now people are not very serious regarding the pandemic. Also, gatherings have increased due to the festive season. The number of patients in AIIMS and other hospitals in Delhi have increased. To a large extent, our ICU as well as non-ICU beds are occupied.”
Speaking about the non-payment of salaries to the doctors and healthcare workers, Singh said, “In Delhi, there are many hospitals where healthcare workers have not been paid their salaries for months even during the pandemic. This ignorant attitude of the state government is shameful. Everyone has faced financial crisis during the lockdown. The healthcare workers spend long hours on the line of duty, so they should be paid accordingly. The government should take up this issue on a priority basis.”