Health Dept allows weekly off to its frontline workers

Psychological well-being of paramount importance, say officials

Health Dept allows weekly off to its frontline workers

A health worker administers the Covid vaccine to a man in Patiala. Tribune photo: Rajesh Sachar

Karam Prakash
Tribune News Service
Patiala, April 13

To maintain the psychological well-being of frontline workers, the Patiala Health Department has now allowed its employees to avail of “one” weekly off. Experts believe that given the workload, mental stress has already plagued the health workers.

The Health Department, in a message to Senior Medical Officers (SMOs), said they should give one rest day to the employees to avoid burnout.

The announcement is said to have come after a majority of the foot soldiers - due to the work load, especially massive vaccination drive – expressed resentment to continue their jobs.

It has been learnt that employees were not happy with the department because no extra incentives had been given during this unprecedented time, even for outreach vaccination camps.

Health employees said they were overburdened as they had to handle vaccination, testing and contact tracing simultaneously. Besides, they had to manage regular work apart from coronavirus.

A healthcare worker said: “Targets for vaccination or Covid testing are very high and unrealistic. We are just exhausting ourselves without community participation.”

Health officials said working round the clock was taking a toll on their mental health and they would soon face burnout.

A medical officer said: “Even when we reach our home, we have to continuously look into the Covid-related issues on phone. Sometimes, we don’t even get proper sleep.”

Patiala Civil Surgeon Dr Satinder Singh said: “It was important to take care of mental health of our workers during this unprecedented time. I have asked the authorities concerned to give some rest to employees as they are working 24x7. Besides, we are planning to give an incentive of Rs100 to each vaccinator daily.”

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