GARD lays bare harsh reality at Covid centres

THE GOAN NETWORK | MAY 03, 2021, 12:58 AM IST

The Goa Association of Resident Doctors (GARD) has finally broken its silence laying bare the ugly ground realities at Goa’s top government-run Covid facilities. 

Ranging from insufficient oxygen supply in Covid wards, woeful shortage of beds, preferential treatment to VIPs, absence of security to residents posted on Covid duty to the shortage of doctors and staff members to manage the show, GARD has strongly rebutted the Chief Minister Pramod Sawant and Health Minister Vishwajit Rane’s position of all-is-well.

The revelations stand to contradict every assertion made by Sawant-Rane duo over the last month. Requesting immediate redressal of all these grievances GARD has warned of a disastrous situation if these issues persist any further. 

“We also urge the higher authorities to acknowledge the shortcomings of the health infrastructure in the state so that the patients know what to expect when they come to the hospital,” states the letter written by GARD to Dean of Goa Medical College and Hospital Dr S M Bandekar. 

The resident doctors on Covid duty have slammed the authorities over the massive shortage of oxygen supply at Covid facilities. “The oxygen supply in various covid wards is not even close to sufficient. The central oxygen flow delivers very low flow 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 two to three hours for replacement cylinders to come and sometimes more than that. Similar situation is also faced in South Goa District Hospital,” GARD revealed. 

GARD has also demanded to know whether the government intends to burden the existing HCWs posted on Covid duty by operationalizing additional Covid facilities in the face of staff shortage. “There are no announcements on recruitment of new staff or doctors. Are we supposed to manage these additional facilities too in addition to SGDH, ESI & GMC? Currently one resident doctor is managing up to 30 patients on average and some are doing shifts of up to 24 hours,” the letter states.

Following the submission of this letter, Health Minister Vishwajit Rane and GMC Dean Dr Bandekar called an emergency meeting with the members of GARD to discuss the issues in the hope of arriving at a solution. 

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