COVID-19: Chest Hospital docs threaten boycott, raise 6 demands

Hyderabad: Amid the surging daily COVID-19 cases in Telangana, doctors from state-run hospitals in the city have raised six demands for medical personnel to protect them against the spread of the disease. Senior resident doctors treating COVID patients at the Government General and Chest hospitals have threatened to boycott services related to the treatment of COVID-19 patients.

The decision was taken by the Telangana Senior Resident Doctors Association two days ago on April 22. Amid the spike in COVID-19 case, doctors have raised six demands and staged a protest in front of the Government General Chest Hospital, Erragda, holding placards and chanting slogans. They said they would sign the attendance register but would not treat patients until the government approved their six demands.

“Once the demands are approved, they will resume their duties. If not, they would just be sitting in their offices after signing the attendance register,” the association president said.

The six demands are: 

  • 15 days quarantine leave is mandated in the Covid-19 Protocol. 
  • Quality PPE Kits; the Personal Protection Equipment supplied to the government should be of good quality.
  • Cash incentive of 10 per cent of salary as promised by the government should be given. 
  • Accommodation to doctors should be provided by the management for them to take rest after completing duty. 
  • Transportation should be provided for doctors during these Covid-19 phase. 
  • Hospital ICU beds must be reserved for doctors and their family members.

Speaking to the Deccan Chronicle, Government General and Chest Hospital  Pulmonologist M Naresh said, “This is an emergency. Many doctors are at risk of contracting the virus, and it is more likely that these doctors may contract the disease. Another major problem is wearing PPE kits. Wearing them can lead to health problems such as dehydration, severe body aches, etc. “

“When it is known that COVID is transmitted through air, why can’t we be given proper equipment especially when the entire hospital is slowly being converted into COVID-19 wards?” he questioned.

“Earlier, if we had to work for 5 days, we used to get 5 days quarantine. But now, quarantine days are removed, which means we have to continuously work in COVID wards and risk getting infected. We urge the government to accept our six demands,” Dr Naresh said.

Telangana on Friday witnessed the highest number of COVID-19 cases as well as deaths in a single day ever with 7432 fresh infections and 33 more deaths. Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) accounted for the most number of cases with 1464, followed by Medchal Malkajgiri at 606 and Rangareddy at 504, a government bulletin said on Saturday.