14 doctors in UP's Unnao resign, allege mental harassment by admin officers

Amid rising COVID-19 cases in the state, as many as 14 doctors in Uttar Pradesh's Unnao, who are in charge of rural hospitals in the district, resigned alleging harassment and ill-treatment by administration officers.

According to a report by NDTV, the doctors were in-charge of Community Health Centres and Primary Healthcare Centres in the Unnao district. The doctors submitted their resignations at the CMO office on Wednesday evening. They also forwarded a copy of their resignations to the additional chief secretary (Health), director general (Health) and other senior officers.

Dr Sharad Vaishya, one of the signatories of the resignation letter, said their teams are working round the clock, “but it seems we are being marked out for ‘not working’”. He said that the DM, other officials, even the SDM and the tehsildar are supervising them and holding review meetings.

Dr Sharad Vaishya further added that their teams leave at noon, track and isolate COVID-19 positive patients, get the samplings done, distribute medicines and later get called to attend review meetings by SDM.

"Even if someone is posted 30 km away, he or she is bound to travel all the 30 km for these review meetings. We have to prove that we have worked. It seems it is being suggested that because we are not working, the COVID-19 infection is spreading," Dr Sharad Vaishya added.

“Despite working round-the-clock, it is being made to look like coronavirus cases are rising because of us,” Vaishya said. “We are held guilty for not being able to trace a patient even in cases where the person gives a wrong address or phone number.”

Another doctor, identified as Sanjeev, told PTI that the district magistrate and chief medical officer misbehaved with them during their work in pandemic-hit rural areas for the last one year.

"We will not fight under the banner of Provincial Medical Services (PMS) association. This is our fight. The DM and CMO misbehave with us even after we have been working in limited resources in rural areas for the past one year. Instead of cooperating, administration officers misbehave with us," Dr Sanjiv alleged. The agitated doctors claimed their salaries were also withheld several times.

"Our work is being reviewed by the sub divisional magistrate (SDM) and block development officer (BDO) level officers," he added.

Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh recorded 18,125 fresh COVID-19 cases that raised the infection count to 15,63,238, while 329 new fatalities pushed the death toll 16,372.

On the bright side, the number of active cases in the state has come down by over 1.04 lakh in the past 11 days. The COVID-19 recovery rate now stands at 85.7 per cent in Uttar Pradesh.

(Inputs from PTI)

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