July 1 is celebrated as National Doctor’s Day to honour the unsung medical heroes for their selfless and dedicated services. This year, however, there are more reasons to thank doctors for fighting with the virus in the frontline. With no prior training to manage a crisis of this magnitude, doctors in India rose to challenges posed by the Covid- 19 pandemic.
India has already lost over 300 frontline doctors in the fight against Covid- 19. Apart from the risk of contracting the virus and exhaustion from non- stop 10- hour shifts, instances of doctors getting abused, assaulted, pelted by stones, attacked by mobs, shunned by their housing societies in the pandemic, are plenty. On the eve of National Doctor’s Day, India TV spoke to a few doctors in Mumbai.
“Working in Mumbai, one of the global hotspots of the pandemic, my colleagues and I feel overwhelmed and drawn to duty more than ever. We are working to the highest of our capacities. Sometimes it gets tiring in the PPEs without food or water. Sometimes it gets tiring in the PPEs without food or water. Sometimes, we see healthy young people dying in front of us. Our colleagues falling and recovering,” said Doctor Chinu Sara Varughese, RMO at KEM Hospital and KEM MARD Vice President.
- AIMO wants a Reduction in Insurance Premiums of Rs.40,000 crores
- New influenza virus with ‘pandemic potential’ found in China
She also said that 2020 will remain in her memory forever. On challenges being faced by women doctors in the line of duty, Dr. Varughese says, “I feel empowered that my female colleagues are working just at the forefront, many of them are pregnant, some have babies to take care of, and all are juggling between home and work. Many of us haven’t seen our families for so long. We even don’t know when this will end, but we will continue to fight with an indomitable spirit.”
Another doctor Kaustav Gupta said that He is proud of the healthcare fraternity and those providing essential services at the time of this health crisis. Dr. Gupta also added, “The pandemic has taken actual masks off a lot of aspects that need to be looked at. I hope we do that as a society and work collectively for more peace and empowerment to the world.”
The Morning Standard also had a talk with few doctors on the eve of National Doctor’s Day, Dr. Gauri Aggarwal, Founder of Seeds of Innocence & Gene strings, said, “Conducting Covid- 19 tests, growing cases in terms of testing and treatment, has led to a risk of burnout for staff. We don’t just have to work in PPE during summer, but also have to deal with the stigma of working in hospitals. The one motivation is we’re privileged to be at the forefront of this fight. This has led to never-before-seen levels of commitment, selflessness, and teamwork.”
Dr. Ravi Shekhar Jha, Senior Consultant and Head of Department, Pulmonologist at Fortis Escorts Faridabad, said, “Working in Covid ward through exhausting is rewarding. It is draining to wear the PPE for prolonged hours, especially, when you look at the monitor and realize that your face shield vision has become blurred due to fogging, but when you see smiling faces of patients, especially those who are young and have plenty of life ahead; it makes it all worth it.
A young Mumbai doctor, who has recently passed his final year exams, told India Today of his experience at the emergency ward, which he says has made him more committed to his profession. “There was a patient who wasn’t looking good, seeing his condition, we attended to him. I gave him the bag and mask and after a while, he seemed to be getting better. I then took his ECG so touched his feet a bit to relax him but he pulled them up. I tried to calm him and explained that the ECG was needed. At this point, he started touching my feet and said his family members weren’t ready to touch him, and here I wasn’t hesitating to touch his feet,” the doctor said. He also said that he is proud of what he is doing and he had chosen the right career.
The doctors also draw attention to flaws in the system and feel it is time to pay attention to these shortcomings. “Covid- 19 has tested our medical system. It has also exposed the flaws. The doctors are showing exemplary dedication but let’s not forget that they are ill-equipped and understaffed in the frontline. I hope the government has learned its lessons from this pandemic and would invest more into the health sector and for once set its priorities straight,” says a Mumbai Doctor.
Hospitals are overflowing with innumerable and endless stories. July 1 is a perfect day to give tribute to all the doctors who are giving their all, despite all odds in this battle against the novel Corona Virus.