Deccan Chronicle

Karnataka doctors rue government apathy towards healthcare

Deccan Chronicle| Aksheev Thakur

Published on: July 6, 2020 | Updated on: July 6, 2020

There have been several cases of patients being denied admission in hospitals resulting in death of several patients

 Picture of a Covid care centre managed by the BBMP.  DC Photo

Picture of a Covid care centre managed by the BBMP. DC Photo

While the government is in denial about the spread of virus through community transmission and there is major chaos at the hospital, the doctors treating  Covid patients are unsparing in their account of the pathetic state of affairs in hospitals.

Dr Taha Mateen, Managing Director of HBS hospital said, "The state's response to Covid has been disappointing as it reflects lack of planning, hasty decision making. As a polity we displayed utter disregard to the weak and vulnerable, a complete lack of insight, a disregard to science and a surrender to superstition, prejudice, and opinion."

In the past few weeks, there have been several cases of patients being denied admission in hospitals resulting in death of several patients.

The economic fallout of the Lockdown on daily wage-earners, the migrant crisis, the stigma of Covid that led to the denial of fundamental rights to pilots and doctors, and now this crisis in our healthcare, has proven beyond doubt that it's time to rethink and remind ourselves the lessons of compassion and care for each other that we seem to have forgotten. The fact that we spend the least percentage of our GDP on Healthcare, the complete abandonment of health care as a fundamental right of citizens really shows that we don't value each other for just being human.    

From the last one week, we are seeing a surge in cases in Bangalore. People searching for ICU beds is a daily affair and many have died. And it's only the start!" Dr Mateen stated.

In response to the government expediting efforts to turn hostels, stadiums and marriage halls into Covid centres, the MD remarked that the authorities should be told that the state needs beds with oxygen and ICU.

"Our response should have been enhancing our capacity of beds with oxygen. Increase ventilators. Create sensible protocols. We need advanced medicines like Tocluzimab and Remdesivir. We need well trained doctors and nurses in Public sector. We need Ventilators, Bipap ventilators, and HFN Cannulas. With better pay and perks, the corporate world has poached doctors away from public service," he stated.

Dr Mateen in a video has requested the doctors to join his hospital as it has 80 beds, ventilators but no doctors to treat patients. The hospital that had 20 nurses and 44 doctors is now left with five doctors.

Dr Mateen is in favour of invoking Essential Services and Maintenance Act (ESMA) on  healthcare workers to enable patients in getting good care. "We need to stop privatization of healthcare and build a British, Swedish or a German-like model for Public healthcare," he said.  

The state and privately owned hospitals together have only 225 ICU beds available with ventilators.

Out of 13,251 active cases in the state, 243 are admitted in ICU's across the state.

Meanwhile, it has come to the fore that the Bidadi plant of Bosch India has more than 62 positive Covid cases. Over 182 primary contacts have been put under quarantine and the positive cases have been shifted to designated hospitals in Bengaluru.

With regard to the increasing vulnerability of police officials getting affected, Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagare Palike (BBMP) special commissioner (solid waste management), Randeep D said that the health officials and ASHA workers are ensuring that nothing happens to them.

"Police stations are being sanitised and their health is being checked. It is requested to the public to not to urinate, spit and throw garbage in public places,"  he said.

According to the BBMP Covid war room report, 94% of the area in Bengaluru is under ontainment zone with maximum cases being reported from the West and East zones. 

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