ISLAMABAD-Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) on Saturday expressing concerns over the prevailing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) infection amongst healthcare workers urged the Prime Minister (PM) and Chief Ministers (CMs) of all provinces to take significant measures for the health safety and protection of health professionals. 

In a letter written to PM, Secretary General (SG) PMA Dr. QaiserSajjad said that the doctors’ body is very much concerned over the life and health of our colleagues, doctors, nurses and paramedics regarding the prevailing situation of coronavirus. 

It said that health professionals are working very hard at quarantine centers, isolations centers, HDU and at ICU to treat the coronavirus patients. Moreover doctors are serving with dedication in hospital wards, emergencies and OPDs at both public and private sector hospitals. 

It also said that the PMA also draws your attention towards the violent incident at Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Centre (JPMC) on 14thMay, 2020. The Law and Order situation occurred when COVID-19 patient died in the hospital and his relative wanted his body without fulfilling the due procedure.

The relative turned violent when hospital officials asked them to follow the protocol. They damaged the furniture, doors and window panes of the ward where the deceased patient was admitted.

PMA said that in this scenario it is very unfortunate that people are attacking and destroying health facilities and threatening the healthcare workers. PMA has received such complaints of violence both from public and private hospitals throughout Pakistan. 

PMA also added that at this stage when healthcare workers are fighting with coronavirus. Many of them have been affected with coronavirus and are in isolation. We already have shortage of facilities, experts and technical people at our hospitals. The situation will be very unfortunate if healthcare workers do not come to the hospitals due to such incidents and due to their stay in isolation due to coronavirus.

It further said that PMA requests you to protect the healthcare workers from coronavirus by providing PPEs on regular basis.

Healthcare workers must also be protected from violent mobs at hospitals and provide them peaceful environment, so they can work with peace of mind.

Duty hours of the doctors should be limited to 6hours only and the doctors working with corona positive patients should be given two weeks’ leave to remain in quarantine after one week’s 6hourly duty.

Risk allowance should be given to all the employees of the hospitals from grade 1to 20 and a centralized networking should be established between the corona designated hospitals.

Ambulance services should also be included in the network, so that ambulance driver can take the patient to the required facility and use of mask for all should be made mandatory.