Hyderabad: The protest by postgraduate students of Gandhi Hospital has been continuing for more than 17 hours. Around 500 junior doctors have come on to the roads demanding special police protection following an attack on a junior doctor by two attendants of a patient. The doctors have decided to continue with the protest until there is an assurance from Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao. They share with NewsMeter various ordeals they have been facing during the last three months.
The doctors said that Covid-19 cases in Telangana need to be decentralised to other hospitals instead of bringing every case to Gandhi.
“We have been working relentlessly for the last three months. Now, we are tired. The 65-bedded ICU we had now has 200 beds. One more floor has also been completely converted into Covid ICU but the number of staff is not being increased. We need more doctors, nurses and other paramedical staff. Now, the burden is on junior doctors. Further, we are being made to work for 2-3 days at a stretch wearing the PPEs, “ said the junior doctors to NewsMeter.
“We want the government to answer why not even a single Covid-19 case has been shifted from Gandhi so far. When a patient comes to Gandhi we run around in search of oxygen cylinders. It's not easy. We stay inside the PPE kits for 5-6 hours and we can no longer bear the pain. One doctor fainted the other day due to the lack of oxygen inside the PPE. Already four doctors are tested positive, including a professor, but they have not tested any one of us. We don’t know how many of us are already carrying Coronavirus. None of us is given 14-day quarantine and the same issue was even raised by the Supreme Court.,” the doctors pointed out.
Following two instances where junior doctors at Gandhi Hospital were attacked by patients families, the doctors said all that they need at this point is protection.
The doctors said they do not want claps or flowers but protection. 'We care when nobody does, we don't need claps or flower petals. The little respect that we earned is not remaining. We need protection', said a transfer intern from Gandhi Hospital.
“There are three demands from our side. One is to decentralise the cases that come to Gandhi. Not just Gandhi doctors, every other doctor can also treat Covid-19 patients. We need the government to reduce the burden on us. Secondly, we need immediate protection. In April too, there was an attack on Gandhi doctors but no arrest was made. The government too did not care about the April attack. Our third demand is to increase the staff strength in the hospital.
“A couple of days ago, 600 patients were discharged without even completing 10 days of quarantine at hospital. They were positive patients and could spread Coronavirus to several people. All government hospitals in Telangana are short-staffed and also lack adequate facilities. This has been the same since long.
All that the government is claiming is false. It will be better if they can induct more doctors, nurses, ward boys and paramendical staff. We cannot work without sleep like this for 2-3 days continuously,” said another doctor.