Denied Accommodation, Covid19 Doctors Say Their Families Rendered Vulnerable

by Khalid Bashir Gura

SRINAGAR: Unlike last year, the resident doctors managed the frontline against Covid19 in GMC, Srinagar, have been deprived of an isolation facility where they used to live, far away from their families.

Ambulances stationed outside SMHS hospital Srinagar. KL Image by Bilal Bahadur

The doctors had sent an SOS to authorities for separate accommodation to save their families from infection. Many doctors have already been a source of contagion to families and also lost vulnerable members due to deadly contagion.

“More than 120 resident doctors of GMC Srinagar have been infected by Covid19,” said, Dr Aatif Sanaie, President Resident Doctors Association.

“To save our families from the dangers of getting infected, we request the administration to provide us with temporary accommodation.”

This facility has been provided to Covid19 doctors in almost all parts of India including Jammu, Dr Aatif said. “We appeal to the Kashmir administration to kindly provide us with the same.”

The government had taken a good step last year to keep doctors in temporary accommodations to prevent the spread of the virus. This year, however, despite requests to authorities it has not been approved.

“In the line of duty more than 100 resident doctors of GMC Srinagar and an even higher number of their family members have tested positive so far during this second wave,” Dr Aatif said, adding that if doctors’ family is involved in the contagion it in turn impacts health care delivery as the mental peace and workforce is impacted.

As frontline workers, doctors are supposed to be at the forefront against the fight with contagion and save people from gasping for breath but in the absence of accommodation, the doctors fear they will become a source of infection to the families.

“We are worried about the elderly and vulnerable members in our families who are susceptible to the virus. Many doctors carried contagion home and infected the vulnerable family members and losing them to the contagion,” he said.

We had requested around 80 rooms, said the President.

P K Pole

PK Pole, Divisional Commissioner Kashmir, said that the administration is working on the demands. “We have already provided the facilities at CD hospital of 30 rooms out of which only a few have been used. The concerned DC is resolving the issue but it is also found that some hoteliers are pushing for their own ends,” Pole said. Even though the administration had provided accommodation to doctors last year, this year administration retrospectively is providing as per need and curtailing the superfluous expenses.

“The doctors should take up the issue and provide the list to hospital administration and I will also direct DC to make the accommodation available,” the Divisional Commissioner added.

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