Amid the coronavirus outbreak, resident doctors of the Government Medical College and Hospital here in Maharashtra staged a protest demanding personal protective equipment and N95 surgical masks for their own safety.
Two patients and a staff member of the Government Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) have so far tested positive for coronavirus at the medical facility. The resident doctors protested outside the office of the GMCH dean on Sunday and said the personal protective equipment (PPE) and N95 masks were essential for doctors deployed in emergency health services. These equipment are designed to protect the wearer’s body from injury or infection.
They submitted a memorandum to the dean, saying they would stay quarantined in their hostels if the safety equipment are not provided. “Even after some patients tested positive for coronavirus, the doctors treating them in emergency wards were not provided these safety equipment,” Mahrashtra Association of Resident Doctors (MARD) Aurangabad unit president Dr Amir Tadvi told PTI.
These doctors attend to 50 to 100 patients in a day. It is now dangerous to treat patients without the protective equipment, he said. “We have put forth our demands as per guidelines of the Indian Council of Medical Research. We expect that these equipment would be supplied without any disruption. We have not stopped working, we have only demanded masks and PPE for our safety,” MARD vice president Dr Sandeep Chauhan said.
After the protest, the emergency ward doctors were provided PPE and N95 masks on Sunday, Tadvi said. After a meeting with MARD officials, GMCH Dean Dr Kanan Yelikar issued a release, saying masks and PPE were available in adequate quantity.
Presently, the safety equipment are kept with the in-charge ward staff and will be made available to doctors if they demand, it added.