Amidst acute shortage of medical and support staff, the faculty in all government medical college hospitals across Kerala have been agitating against the suspension of a COVID nodal officer and two nurses, on charges of lack of inadequate care given to an elderly patient. The medical fraternity maintains that it is the lack of adequate staff and helping hands that has led to such a situation and that the nodal officers cannot be blamed or accused of negligence.
The state government has been criticised for demotivating health-care staff who have been working relentlessly through these troubled times, risking exposure and bearing extreme work pressure amidst shortage of hands.
While more wards and ICUs are being set up to cater to the COVID cases that are multiplying by the day, nothing is being done to provide enough doctors, nurses and support staff to manage these wards. The existing staff already have their hands more than full. The agitating medical faculty righty feel that this is the time when those in the healthcare should be given extra facilities and benefits, instead of suspending them for negligence amidst such acute shortage of staff .
Health Minister KK Shailaj recently mentioned that despite hiring about 2,000 people, including doctors, the state is still in need of thousands of human resources, as the cases are increasing at the rate of 10,000 a day. There is also an acute shortage of ventilators.
Recently, the State Government’s decision to deploy doctors of the Thiruvananthapuram Medical College Hospital at second-line COVID treatment centres was opposed by the Kerala Medical Postgraduate Association. The Association argues that this move will adversely affect the tertiary care given to both COVID and non-COVID patients at the medical college hospitals.