A Covid-19 test for emergency procedures being rendered non-compulsory has led to confusion among doctors across the country who state that it will harm the healthcare workers and doctors more than anyone else.
With the exposure rate of these sections high in hospitals attending to emergency patients, not knowing their status is going to increase the risks.
On a question in the Rajya Sabha about the need for tests results being mandatory in government hospitals, it was stated that health is a state subject but the central government has advised states that a Covid-19 test is not mandatory for emergency procedures.
This advisory is for both government and private hospitals. Dr Sanjiv Singh Yadav, state secretary of Indian medical association, Telangana says, “There are two ways in which it is being seen. The patient and family will be reluctant as they do not have any symptoms on the basis of which to conduct the tests.
But for the healthcare workers and doctors being close to the patient in emergency care is exposing themselves. Despite wearing personal protection equipment, doctors and healthcare workers are getting infected and many have died. Young doctors and healthcare workers have died. For this reason, tests are important and it will be the doctors and hospitals which will have to convince patients and their families to do the test.”
Most private hospitals are not taking in patients for procedures without tests results. The tests are mandatory as, accordingly, patients are shifted to Covid-19 and non-Covid-19 wards.
Dr Kiran Madhala, senior government doctor, explained “Tests can be done after admission also as the results take time. The Indian council of medical research guidelines state that no patient must be kept on hold even during emergencies for lack of Covid-19 tests results. They have specifically pointed out birthing as these procedures cannot be delayed. In these cases, the tests results affirmed later will help doctors and healthcare workers to take the required protection and medication to safeguard the patient and themselves.”
With the death of healthcare workers and doctors, alertness and fear are making it important to be on guard before treating patients....