Other States

Coronavirus | Odisha doctors decline advance salary, demand protective gear

Nursing staff helping colleagues don protective gear at the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital in Chennai

Nursing staff helping colleagues don protective gear at the Rajiv Gandhi Government General Hospital in Chennai   | Photo Credit: R. Ragu

The Odisha Medical Service Association has also expressed similar concerns in its second missive to the government within one week, stating that personal protective equipment are very essential to fight the outbreak.

A group of doctors from Odisha’s Veer Surendra Sai Institute of Medical Sciences and Research (VIMSAR) turned down the four months’ advance salary announced by the State government to encourage them in the fight against COVID-19.

Instead, they have demanded the proper supply of personal protective equipment (PPE). Doctors and paramedics have expressed concerns over the acute shortage of PPE, stating that they were at risk while carrying out their duties.

“We don’t want the advance salary as the country needs the funds at this most critical juncture. What we need is good quality PPE, so that we will not be carriers of the disease,” said Dr. Shankar Ramachandani, a senior resident doctor. “We have urged the government to withdraw the advance salary. The government should take steps to make PPE available to doctors and health workers,” said Dr. Ramachandani.

The Odisha Medical Service Association (OMSA) has also expressed similar concerns. “Instead of supporting us by giving four months advance salary, we need life protecting materials for the doctors and paramedical staff like N95 masks, sanitisers, PPE kit (goggles, boot covers and gowns), which are very essential to fight the coronavirus,” said OMSA president Narayan Rout.

It was OMSA’s second missive to State government on the shortage of PPE within one week. Earlier, the association of resident doctors and nurses at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences-Bhubaneswar’s had come up with identical demands. They pointed to the non-availability of PPE at AIIMS-Bhubaneswar.

In wake of these concerns, AIIMS-Bhubaneswar Director B. Geetanjali held a COVID-19 preparedness meeting on March 20. It was also decided to additionally procure PPE, masks and sanitisers by the hospital’s purchases division. The State government admitted that PPE was short in supply. According to the Director of Health Services, available PPE was being distributed on the basis of requirement.

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Printable version | Jun 5, 2020 6:46:24 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/coronavirus-odisha-doctors-decline-advance-salary-demand-protective-gear/article31222628.ece

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