Around 143 doctors, including a state cabinet minister, present and former MPs, government doctors and private practitioners – all IMA members – have volunteered to help police and KMC for the purpose.
This step should help Covid patients and their families. Proper implementation of this directive at the neighbourhood level is of vital importance.
In a recent meeting, both the police and KMC flagged the concern that they were unable to get doctors while responding to distress calls. Besides, without expert help, they were unable to decide which patient needed hospitalisation and who should be isolated at home.
According to sources, the issue of doctors’ death was raised in a recent meeting at the KMC headquarters. Both police and KMC flagged the concerns that they were unable to get doctors while responding to crisis calls. Sources said it was also stressed that without medical help, it was not possible for police to decide which patients require hospitalization and who should be isolated at home. KMC and police officials also sought help from medical practitioners who can advise patients on the phone. “In some cases, deaths have been reported at home and with relatives in home quarantine, the body lay for several hours because of their inability to get a death certificate,” said a source.
Bandyopadhyay then urged the IMA state secretary Shantanu Sen, also a Rajya Sabha MP, to help tide over the crisis. Sen said: “I consulted with my colleagues in IMA. The members responded whole-heartedly to my call for help in this crucial time when there is a dearth of doctors. Our members will be readily available for consultation over phone. During emergencies, doctors will also attend patients and decide if they require hospitalization.” Sen himself has volunteered his services in the Sinthi police station area. While most police stations will have two-four doctors, only three will have one doctor-volunteer each.
State women and child development and social welfare minister Sashi Panja said: “I have been trying to do my bit in the Girish Park police station area and have volunteered to help.” She added: “Apart from the medical aspect of Covid treatment, there is also a dearth of understanding about this disease. For example, once they know they are Covid positive, people want to go to the hospital. It is here a doctor can play an important role in explaining whether they are mild and asymptomatic patients and require home isolation or need to be hospitalized.”
Srjoni Chowdhury, a gynaecologist who has her chamber at Jadavpur, said: “I will be pleased to offer my consultation to would-be mothers who could be Covid-19 suspects. I will respond to calls even at odd hours. After all, people are confused and need our services right now.” AK Dasgupta, who has his chamber in Taltala, added: “It should be a utility service to Covid-19 suspects or positive patients. I will have no difficulties in offering my services to people in need. After all, we need to understand that this is a critical time and we need to act accordingly.”