Covid war- unhappy soldiers: says Supreme court


 

In present era, these are toughest times for health care staff and hospitals as well.  Warriors on the front lines are doctors and nurses, whereas hospitals are grappling with financial constraints.  What should have been most   desirable at this crucial time, was the   encouragement and psychological support to these warriors.  Administrators were supposed to give some moral boosting and financial support or at least, the rightful, so that health staff  should work willingly and inspire next generation for future catastrophe like this.  Instead of armchair preaching to health care staff, there should have been robust  rules and guidelines to protect health care staff and health systems as doctors and nurses are working under tremendous psychological pressure.

But the desired did not happen, as the chaotic management due to economical compulsions or just trying to be projected as an outstanding administrator turned out to be a real possibility rather than exception.

Moral and legal compulsions thus caused  immense pressure on health care workers  and  they became an  easy  subject  to moral and legal blackmail.  The  pressure to perform their duties in sub-optimal and below par conditions became a new norm.  

Every day when doctors and nurses, while going to work have this thought in mind. But still they continue to work amid their own tensions, worries about families.

The non-payment of salaries, disrespect to health care staff and being made to work in below par conditions, without PPE’s at some places has caused tremendous discouragement to the medical profession.

 

In war, you don’t make soldiers unhappy, says SC on non-payment of salaries to doctors

The courts should not be involved in the issue of non-payment of salary to health care workers and government should settle the issue, it said.

NEW DELHI: “In war, you do not make soldiers unhappy. Travel extra mile and channel some extra money to address their grievances,” the Supreme Court said on Friday taking serious note of non-payment of salary and lack of proper accommodation to doctors engaged in fight against Covid-19.

The courts should not be involved in the issue of non-payment of salary to health care workers and government should settle the issue, it said.

The top court was hearing a plea by a doctor, who alleged that front line healthcare workers engaged in fight against Covid-19 are not being paid salaries or their salaries are being cut or delayed.

The doctor also questioned the Centre’s new SOP making their 14-day quarantine non-mandatory.

“In war, you do not make soldiers unhappy. Travel extra mile and channel some extra money to address grievances. Country cannot afford to have dissatisfied soldiers in this war which is being fought against Corona,” said a bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, S K Kaul and MR Shah.

Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, appearing for the Centre, said that if there are better suggestions coming forward, they can be accommodated.

The bench said that there are reports coming that many areas doctors are not being paid.

“We saw report that doctors went on strike. In Delhi, some doctors have not been paid for past three months. These are concerns that should have been taken care off. It should not require court intervention.”

The bench further said, “You (Centre) need to do more. Must make sure their concerns are addressed”.

The bench posted the matter for further hearing next week.

On June 4, the Centre had told the top court that a “large number” of make-shift hospitals will have to be built in the near future to accommodate the constant rise in the number of newly infected people.

The Centre also contended that though hospitals are responsible for implementing the Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) activities, the final responsibility lies with the health care workers to protect themselves from COVID-19.

It further said mandatory quarantine for 14 days after the duty of healthcare workers of 7/14 days is “not justified and warranted”.

“It is most respectfully submitted that number of cases of COVID-19 are constantly increasing and at some point of time in near future, apart from existing hospitals, large number of temporary make-shift hospitals will have to be created in order to accommodate COVID-19 patients requiring admission, medical care and treatment,” the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare said in an affidavit.

The affidavit was filed on a plea by Arushi Jain who questioned the Centre’s new Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) of May 15 for front line COVID-19 healthcare workers by which it ended the 14-day mandatory quarantine for them.

The ministry in its reply affidavit had said healthcare workers (HCW) are properly protected by Personal Protective Equipments (PPE) in workplace settings and carry no additional risk to their families or children.

It had said grievances raised by the petitioner alleging infirmities in the May 15 guidelines of the health ministry are completely presumptuous, vacuous, ill-founded and sans any empirical or medical evidence.

Justifying its advisory and SOPs, the health ministry said it is a step in the right direction and that the guidelines emphasise the role of taking adequate preventive measures by all health care workers in the hospital setting against the likelihood of contracting infection at their work place.

On April 8, the apex court had observed that the doctors and medical staff are the “first line of defence of the country” in the battle against COVID-19 pandemic, and directed the Centre to ensure that appropriate PPEs are made available to them for treating coronavirus patients.

Altruistic professions not cherished in present era

Enslavement of doctor and nurses

 

21 occupational risk to doctor and nurses

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: