Politician-doctors sign up for COVID-19 duties

Trained medical personnel, who quit their practice to take part in public welfare, are donning their white coats again, to fight the virus.

Updated - April 06, 2020 02:55 pm IST

Published - April 06, 2020 02:47 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Mahesh Sharma

Mahesh Sharma

The Union government last week put out a request asking retired doctors who had served in the Army to try and report back to work as it anticipates a shortage of trained medical personnel to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic . Among the ranks of politicians, this was an appeal that had been adhered to by some.

In Noida’s Kailash Hospital, part of a 10 hospital chain, local MP and hospital head Dr. Mahesh Sharma has plunged back into a practice he had abandoned for the hustings. “I cannot ask my doctors to attend to COVID-19 patients from the safety of my home. Therefore, I decided to work from the field,” he told The Hindu. “I have put in place systems where there is some screen between any patient diagnosed as COVID-19 positive and the doctors and health workers. We cannot say that it is foolproof but my priority is treatment with maximum protection to my health care staff,” he said.


In Akola, Maharashtra, Congress corporator Dr. Zishan Hussain, an MD in internal medicine, also has his own private nursing home but has conveyed to the Akola district authorities that he will be available for COVID-19 related duties when called upon to do so. “Not just me, I can say with confidence that 30% of doctors in Akola have already volunteered for such duty,” he said.

Sanjay Jaiswal. Photo courtesy: Twitter/@sanjayjaiswalMP

Sanjay Jaiswal. Photo courtesy: Twitter/@sanjayjaiswalMP


Quite the same is the case with Bihar BJP chief and West Champaran MP Sanjay Jaiswal. The only person to perform echo cardiograms in Bettiah, Dr. Jaiswal has a clinic in the area and used to, in the past when busy with politics go once a week to the clinic. “I have now started going there regularly and have registered myself for isolation duties if called upon to do so,” he said. “As of now, fortunately, there are no cases in this area,” he added.

Vamsi Krishna, District Congress president for Nagarkurnool in Telangana, also runs a private nursing home along with his wife. An MD in internal medicine, he has been a corporator in the past and has been associated with the Congress. “I have gone back to my practice, and will be available for further duties if asked,” he said.

In Ireland, Prime Minister Leo Varadkar has signed up at the medical register again and will be practising at least once a week as a physician in a show of solidarity in efforts to fight COVID-19.

In India too, the sentiment seems to be the same.

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