B J Hospital in Matheran
NAVI MUMBAI: The shortage of doctors and nurses in the state is so acute that Matheran municipal council’s BJ Hospital has told its Covid-positive staff to continue working instead of quarantining them. The hospital has told a 32-year-old ayurvedic doctor to treat patients after wearing protective gear. One of the two doctors tested positive on Friday and 10 staff, who had to be quarantined, are on duty. It is learnt that a person who travelled to his Matheran residence from Mumbai tested positive.
The ayurvedic doctor attended to him and continued working with colleagues. The doctor said, “When my patient tested positive, I isolated myself from other staff.” As he is asymptomatic, he has been kept at a quarantine facility near the hospital. “I was told to treat patients over the phone or by wearing protective gear. Our hospital staff are working though they were exposed to the virus because of me,” the doctor told TOI.
He said government guidelines don’t specify that hospital staff like doctors and nurses have to stop working on testing positive. Raigad district civil surgeon Dr Pramod Gavai clarified that “asymptomatic doctors or medical fraternity are, despite being quarantined, told to attend to patients either over phone or through personal presence.”
He said the hospital was facing an acute medical staff shortage. “Doctors and staff have to wear personal protective equipment and follow Covid-19 rules while on duty. If any thing goes wrong, doctors will be blamed,” Dr Gavai said.
Two doctors in a government hospital in Karjat, one in Matheran, besides nurses and ward boys of the civil hospital in Alibaug, also tested positive.
Department of medical education chief Dr T P Lahane said doctors who test positive cannot attend duty.