Sixteen doctors working in Bir Hospital emergency submitted resignation from their positions today. They handed over their resignation to Hospital Director Kedar Century after the hospital management failed to fulfil their demands.

The doctors put in their papers after talks with the hospital administration regarding their demands failed. They have been demanding that the hospital management provide them with personal protective equipment, masks, gloves and other protective items. They have also sought COVID-19 allowance.

Talking to THT on condition of anonymity, one of the doctors who also resigned today, said, “The hospital has run out of PPE, sanitisers, gloves and masks. Since COVID and non-COVID patients are kept in the emergency unit, we need protective gear for ours, as well as patients’ safety. We have been purchasing the requisite items on our own. We are risking our lives, but we have not been provided allowance for treatment of coronavirus patients.”

The doctors alleged that they were told to quit if they were not ready to accept the management’s terms.

“We have been asked to work 24 hours in the COV- ID-19 ward without taking a break — not even for toilet or for meals,” one of the doctors who quit today told THT.

“Working in such harsh conditions has been tough for all of us. Some of us have already been infected, while others have lost their family members to the contagion,” the doctor said.

Despite submitting their resignation, doctors have been working without a break. “We can’t neglect patients.”

According to Century, the doctors deployed in the emergency ward have been asking for standard PPE and masks.

“We can’t provide them with standard equipment as we have a limited budget. There is a need for 200 PPE per day in the hospital which we can’t provide, as we have limited resources.

We have been providing the doctors with reusable gowns and surgical masks. For those working in the COVID wards, we have been providing N95 masks and PPE. COV- ID allowance has not been distributed to anyone yet,” Century claimed. He added that efforts were on to resolve the crisis.

On an average, the hospital sees 50 patients in its emergency ward daily these days.


A version of this article appears in print on November 05, 2020 of The Himalayan Times.

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