No safety gear, doctors at St George Hospital won’t treat OPD patients

Published on Mar 26, 2020 11:34 PM IST
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HT Image
ByRupsa Chakraborty, Mumbai

Doctors at government-run St George Hospital, P D’Mello Road, refused to treat patients in the fever out-patient-department (OPD) on Thursday as the administration had not provided them with basic preventive gear like masks and gloves. This led to a tussle between patients and doctors in the ward.

Covid-19 and the common flu share similar symptoms like fever, cough, and cold. Due to growing awareness, hundreds of people with flu-like symptoms are flocking to hospitals for check-ups. Considering there might be possible Covid-19 patients at OPDs, the state health department has instructed government and civic-run hospitals to form a separate fever OPD. However, doctors at St George Hospital claimed they were not provided with protective gear like respirators and gloves to screen patients and could become vulnerable to the infection themselves.

“We are buying masks with our own money. We have been constantly asking the hospital to give us masks and gloves but they are not listening to us. This is the basic facility that the hospital can provide to medicos who are working from the frontline,” said a doctor from the hospital.

Against this backdrop, on Thursday, when doctors refused to screen them, angry patients who had been waiting in queues for hours, started arguing with the doctors on duty. “The number of patients visiting the fever OPD is increasing daily. On Thursday we got over 100 patients but there is no provision for protective kits,” said the doctor. Despite repeated calls, Dr Madhukar Gaikwad, medical superintendent of the hospital could not be reached.

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