Resident doctors stop working at TB hospital in fear of getting infected

Mumbai: Civic-run Sewri Tuberculosis (TB) Hospital has been facing a shortage of staff and resident doctors due to which major surgeries have been pending since the past few months. According to experts, the young doctors fear of contracting infection, which is the reason they refuse to work in the TB Hospital.

Dr Lalit Kumar Anande, Medical Superintendent, Sewri TB Hospital, said, parents of the resident doctors are forcing them to resign and do not want them to work in a TB hospital. “Doctors who come here to serve their mandatory bond, but resign within one-and-a-half-month. Even those resident doctors who are working in the hospital are leaving their services mid-way, as their parents do not want them to work in such a hospital,” he said.

A few doctors have succumbed to the disease after contracting it. The fear still lingers on in the minds of young doctors. Many of them choose to work in other hospitals once they complete their studies. “The sanctioned strength of the hospital is 44, but currently only 14 resident doctors are providing services here. Doctors give vague reasons and remain absent from work. So, during the day we have eight or nine doctors working here. So, actually one doctor attends to 72 patients,” added Dr Anande.

Senior doctors said the government had issued a GR, that post graduate doctors should work in TB hospital. But, when MBBS doctors are not working here. Why will postgraduates doctors work here? The government should provide attractive incentives to doctors.

“MDR and XDR tuberculosis are rising. Owing to which, the doctors are not ready to offer their services in the TB hospital. Hospital witnesses 250 patients during the OPD days and, 650 patients are currently undergoing treatment in the hospital,” said doctors.

Dr Daksha Shah, Head of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporations (BMC) TB control unit, said, “As MDR and XDR tuberculosis cases are increasing, doctors fear that they would also get contacted with TB. Owing to which, they don’t offer their services to the TB patients. In order to attract doctors to work in TB hospital, special facilities should be provided to them. The BMC will surely look into this.”

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