Goa’s resident doctors, who are at the frontline of dealing with the pandemic, have written to the Dean of Goa Medical College complaining that the ‘higher authorities’ are misleading the state about its preparedness to tackle the growing number of Covid-19 patients developing serious complications, HT has learnt.
“The oxygen supply in various covid wards is not even close to sufficient. The central oxygen flow delivers a very low flow of oxygen at times and that is inadequate to keep NIVS and ventilators working effectively. Also, the oxygen cylinders being used for patients get over in the middle of the night and it takes at least 2-3 hours for replacement cylinders to come. Sometimes, when patients are kept without oxygen during this time, their oxygen levels drop to as low as 60%,” the doctors said in their letter.
“The situation with respect to the availability of beds is even worse. Some critical patients have to be managed on trolleys and floors and are kept on ventilators in the critical covid wards. Wards with a capacity of 30 beds have more than 50 patients on average,” they added.
“Every day we read in the news that all higher authorities are saying that there is no issue of oxygen and beds. People come and ask us if that is the case then why are patients kept on trolleys/wheelchairs/floor and not getting oxygen? In the middle of the night when oxygen gets over, patients’ condition worsens and some even die. The junior doctors on duty are the ones who face angry relatives,” the doctors said.
The portal set up by the Goa government to inform about the availability of beds shows that there are more than 50 beds available in health facilities across the state while the actual availability is close to none.
Goa reported 2,023 fresh cases taking its tally past the 95,000-mark while the total number of patients who have succumbed since the beginning of the pandemic is nearly 1,300. Over the last couple of days, Goa has recorded deaths in excess of 50 per day.
The resident doctors also spoke about a ‘VIP’ culture which they say is forcing them to admit VIP patients despite such patients not requiring hospitalisation.
“Residents in covid casualty who are managing more than 30 new patients at a time are told to see these “VIP” patients on a preferential basis and get them admitted fast, even if many times, they don’t require admission. The other critical patients who have been waiting for 2-3 hours to be seen then fight with us,” the doctors said.
State health minister Vishwajit Rane assured to “resolve their grievances”.
“The GARD has been our backbone in this fight against Covid-19. During our interaction, we took suggestions from them and also assured them that all their issues will be resolved at the earliest. The government will provide support to them in resolving their issues as their concerns were valid,” Rane said.