IMA gives a list of doctors to Calcutta police for isolation families – Telegraph India

Kolkata News

The Indian Medical Association has sent Calcutta police the names of doctors who can be contacted by officers at police stations if families of Covid-19 patients in home isolation need any medical help.

Officers clarified that the families can approach the local police stations for any emergency related to any member, not just the Covid patients.

The list has tagged two to four doctors with every police station. The doctors either live or work in the areas guarded by the respective police stations, said a member of the association.  

Santanu Sen, the state president of the association, said the list of doctors was prepared after complaints emerged that the condition of some Covid patients in home isolation rapidly worsened between the time family members called the health department’s helpline for an ambulance and the arrival of the ambulance. 

The families panicked not knowing what to do and where to go. 

At a meeting held at the Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC) last week, officials had discussed the problem faced by many families when a Covid-19 patient developed breathing trouble or other complications but had no confirmation when an ambulance would turn up to take the patient to hospital. 

“People should first call any of the health department’s numbers mentioned on its website for an ambulance. But an ambulance often takes some time to come. If the patient’s condition deteriorates meanwhile and the family approaches police, cops can call any of the doctors whose names are mentioned on the list and seek help,” said a senior state government official who was present at last week’s meeting at the CMC. 

A civic official said providing phone numbers of the doctors to the police stations was among several measures the government was taking to minimise hassles faced by families of Covid patients. The numbers of the doctors will not be displayed publicly and will only be available with police officers. 

“Police officers should exercise discretion and decide whether the condition of a Covid patient is such that the family should have a telephonic consultation with a doctor. There is a telemedicine helpline of the health department. So, officers should not call doctors whose numbers have been provided every now and then. It is only for emergencies,” said a member of the Indian Medical Association.

The police can also call a doctor from the list if someone with fever fails to get a doctor’s appointment. There have been complaints that some doctors are refusing to see patients with fever. 

“In such a situation, an officer at a police station can call a doctor from the list with the request that he or she examine the fever patient,” the association member said.