Nursing, paramedical staff protest lack of safety gear

Say they are fighting epidemic without proper equipment

Nursing, paramedical staff protest lack of safety gear

Nurses and supporting staff of Government Medical College stage a protest in Amritsar on Friday.

Tribune News Service
Amritsar, April 3

Demanding proper safety equipment while treating Covid patients, members of the Co-ordination Committee Para-medical and Health Employees, Punjab, staged a protest outside the office of the Medical Superintendent, Guru Nanak Dev Hospital, here on Friday.

They said the authorities ignore the safety and health of the medical staff who are at the forefront of this fight against the coronavirus.

“We have been working under extreme mental stress as we do not even have N95 masks. We have purchased some masks on our own. Besides, there is a shortage of personal protective equipment that are required for the nursing staff and Class IV staff as they treat Covid patients. Sanitisers being provided to us are also in a diluted form. There is also a scarcity of drinking water,” said Narender Singh, chairman, Co-ordination Committee Para Medical and Health Employees.

Raising slogans against the state government, Health Department and hospital authorities, the protesters said they were not refusing from performing their duties or raising unnecessary demands.

“We are at high risk at this time. If we have to break the chain, the health staff need to be provided with better equipment. We too have families and when we go back home after coming in contact with Covid patients without protective gear, we are our family members at risk as well,” said Lakhwinder Kaur, staff nurse, Government Medical Hospital.

“We can perform our duty better and also save our expenses and energy in travelling. A separate accommodation will keep us isolated from our families,” she added. Members of the Dental Students’ Association of Punjab also supported the demands for better working facilities for doctors, nurses and other medical staff treating Covid patients.

In their statement, the association members said substandard and insufficient personal protection equipment are being given to healthcare professionals for treating and testing patients.

The association said there should be a separate entry or exit for suspected patients and doctors, nursing staff and healthcare staff must get full protection gear.

The members advocated more ventilators, strengthening life-supporting systems in hospitals and testing facilities. They also demanded incorporation of private medical colleges and hospitals to provide treatment.

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