Doctors’ Association had said its members would not treat COVID-19 cases due to mental and physical fatigue
A day after the Doctors’ Association in Nashik said its members would not treat COVID-19 cases citing “public pressure” and “mental and physical fatigue”, District Collector Suraj Mandhare on Wednesday sternly warned that the administration could prosecute doctors, should they take any unconstitutional step.
Around 200 private doctors in the Doctors’ Association had written to Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray stating that on account of mounting public pressure, they could not cope with responsibility for treating COVID-19 patients any more, and asked to be allowed to attend to non-COVID-19 patients instead.
The Association, in its letter, had said that as cases were steadily coming down in Nashik, government medical facilities were more than capable of handling the reduced case load, and that they were willing to offer their services in the event of a resurgence of the pandemic.
However, the Nashik district administration, including the Nashik Municipal Corporation, has criticised the Doctors’ Association for writing directly to the Chief Minister with its request.
“This [private doctors not wanting to treat COVID-19 patients] is not a correct stance adopted by these doctors. As per government regulations, 80% of the beds have been requisitioned for treatment of COVID-19 patients. If doctors in private hospitals are facing problems or have concerns in terms of facing pressure for kin of patients, then they can convey the same to us. The Mayor and I have all the necessary powers for an inquiry should a serious situation arise. But, the Association cannot take such an improper step as turning away patients,” Mr. Mandhare said.
He said that he had contacted the private Doctors’ Association and told them clearly said that their stated position of not admitting COVID-19 patients was not right and that they could face action if patients were sent away. The Association had said that they would not be admitting patients from June 2 onwards.
Likewise, Nashik Mayor Satish Kulkarni further warned that strict action would be taken against those hospitals found guilty of overcharging patients.
From more than 35,000 active cases in the beginning of April, the active case tally in the district, which had been reporting a daily average surge of 2,500-3,000 cases, has now declined to a little over 8,000 cases. The district has reported nearly 4,800 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic last year.
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