Kochi: Experts attending the 74th annual conference of the Association of Physicians of India (API), APICON 2019, here have underlined the need to give top priority for occupational health and safety of medical professionals and health care workers, given their work environment and the magnitude of occupational hazards.
“These are fundamental issues affecting the fundamental right to life of everyone who works in the health sector,” API president Dr. K.K Pareek said. “Lack of safe work environment can cost life and bring untold misery to families. The country’s health sector needs comprehensive occupational health legislation, policies, enforcement of strict safety standards, surveillance methodologies and safety training programmes to protect health workers. The sector is not insurance covered also.”
Another expert Dr. A P Mohanty enumerated the health problems in health care workers handling medical waste, exposure to air borne, water borne and blood borne diseases and also due to lack of safety device. “Work related stress and orthopaedic problems are also a cause for concern,” he said.
Dr. K.G Sajeeth Kumar pointed to the Nipah virus outbreak in Kerala and the steps taken to contain it and the vulnerability of health care workers who attended to the infected patients. One nurse became a victim as she took care of the patients in this period, he said.
Scientific sessions were held at the summit on emerging anti-diabetic drugs, diabetes education, infection management and adult vaccination, hypertension management, technological advancements in cardio vascular disease diagnosis and treatment, osteoarthritis and rheumatology, among others....