Society, administrators and Governments prefer to ignore the fact that doctor’s and nurse life is at as much risk as a soldier while treating infectious diseases. Corona has merely unmasked the risk but the danger has always existed with other disease like HIV, hepatitis B, open tuberculosis, Ebola and half a dozen more communicable diseases.
Doctors and nurses have continued to work along with such risks but the apathy shown by everyone towards health care workers, have left them demotivated and discouraged.
Corona deaths among health care workers are causing tremendous anxiety. Conditions under which they are forced to work are giving them a feeling of being victimised. All of their years of accumulated medical knowledge does not make them either invincible or confident about the future, as there is no uniform mechanism to support their families. The courts have also failed to give assurance of any kind.
Once health care workers, doctors and nurses, become a patient themselves, they realise that their resources are scanty and they are neither rich nor VIPs, and their families are not assured of a decent compensation. In such circumstances they realise that they have been made scape goats due to their call of duty and society has no gratitude. A feeling of deep hurt creeps in. A feeling hurt of being no more than sacrificial lambs in the end.
They feel let down and abandoned by the world for no fault of their own.
WHY SUCH APATHY? There needs to be a uniform law to support families of health workers. Moreover, health workers are crucial for the society, irrespective of their place of work. They may be in Government sector private or in isolated practices. The absence of uniform support mechanisms is becoming evident and is enough to dissuade the aspiring doctors to take up challenging roles.
Compensation given to family members of doctors after their death because of communicable diseases are trivial and non-uniform. It is little in monitory terms as well as in terms of respect. Death of doctors and nurses has been passed off as something routine and trivial matter. Just for example, it is less than course fee of private medical colleges or usual compensations sought by patients in malpractice suits.
Future medical students should note the trend and count this factor, when they choose to be a doctor.
NEW DELHI: More than 87,000 healthcare workers have been infected with Covid-19, with just six states — Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, West Bengal and Gujarat — accounting for three-fourths (around 74%) of the case burden and over 86% of the 573 deaths due to the infection, official data showed. Maharashtra alone, with the highest number of over 7.3 lakh confirmed Covid-19 cases so far, accounts for around 28% of the infected healthcare workers and more than 50% of the total deaths, according to the data. While Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu had tested more than 1 lakh healthcare workers each till August 28, Karnataka reported only 12,260 infected healthcare workers — almost half the burden in Maharashtra. Tamil Nadu reported 11,169 cases that included doctors, nurses and Asha workers. The three states together accounted for 55% of the total cases among health workers. A large number of Covid-19 infections and even deaths of healthcare workers in particular states is being viewed with concern by officials and public health experts, who say risks to frontline workers can jeopardise India’s fight against the pandemic.