Transport travails for paramedics

Hospital superintendents seek police help for arranging vehicles but to no avail

The government has mandated that the entire staff of its hospital network be available for duty in full strength despite the lockdown, but for para-medical staff, who do not have a vehicle of their own, it has been a rough ride.

With buses, cabs and autorickshaws off the roads, nurses, ward boys, aayaahs, X-ray and lab staff, pharmacists and drivers struggle to reach hospitals and return home. Adding to their woes, the police have laid down a norm that no cab can ply with more than four persons, including the driver, if at all the staff choose to hire these vehicles and carry permission letters from superintendents of the hospitals where they are employed.

The superintendents also addressed separate letters to the police to arrange vehicles for the para-medical staff, but to no avail. The police’s argument is that they are unable to make such arrangements for even women constables who did not have vehicles.

Warning against truancy

Sources said hospital authorities have issued stern warning to the staff that they will be referred to the Commissionerate of Vaidya Vidhana Parishad or Directorate of Medical Education if they do not report for duty. In such a scenario, the paramedics are forced to pay up to ₹500 to ₹1,000 to work and back every day.

On the other hand, private nursing homes and hospitals are operating with skeletal staff strength after closing down routine out-patient services and elective surgeries.

Only emergencies are being attended with doctors on call who have no transportation issues since they have cars and do not come across any police obstacles as such.

Telangana Hospitals and Nursing Homes Association secretary Mohan Gupta said the private institutions do not require staff in such circumstances. Their ambulances are used to provide transportation to the para-medical staff.

All clinics and several small and medium nursing homes and hospitals have closed gates and declared holiday for staff.

The reasons attributed to the closure are to not risk admitting coronavirus suspects and the possibility of their attendants coming and going out which could add to the problem.

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Printable version | Jun 1, 2020 10:22:42 AM |

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