Mumbai: Lacking basic amenities like masks and gloves, doctors at the government-run St George Hospital turned away patients who came to the OPD seeking treatment for fever on Thursday morning. Frustrated at not receiving care after waiting in line for hours, patients began hurling abuses at the doctors.
Every day, around 60 patients visit the OPD, exhibiting flu symptoms, some of wh0m could possibly be CoVID-19 patients. In a clear violation of World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines, doctors are being made to work in OPDs without enough protective gear.
The symptoms of CoVID19 are like the seasonal flu - fever, cough and cold. Not willing to take chances, hundreds of people with flu-like symptoms are flocking to hospitals for check-ups at the hint of a cold, cough or fever.
Considering that there might be possible CoVID-19 patients among those visiting hospital OPDs, the state health department has instructed the government and civic-run hospitals to set up a separate Fever OPD, where patients with the flu will be screened separately.
But doctors at the St George hospital claim they are not being provided with basic protective gear like masks and gloves to screen patients, thus making them susceptible to the virus. “We have been demanding surgical masks, caps and gloves but the hospital administration is not paying heed.
We are shelling out of our own pockets to buy masks, the most basic facility the hospital can provide to medicos working at the frontline,” said a doctor from the hospital. On Thursday, when doctors refused to screen patients waiting in line for hours, arguments broke out.