The Corona virus disease caused by novel Corona virus has unleashed an unbearable impact on human lives and economy. But importantly, it has unfolded the disarrayed and broken health care system of countries like Nepal and India.
Harshly privatized healthcare system is a curse to the majority citizens who have average to lower income in Asian nations. In Nepal, government hospitals have been overwhelmed by the outbreak of disease recently and private hospitals are more of profit oriented even in disasters, cutting down the pay of front-line workers, not providing them necessary protective devices and referring sick cases to other center.
Amid all the crisis, healthcare is the least affected sector but still have taken a blow. The private medical colleges who are run on support of Bulky fee from students in Nepal have been the first to neglect the safety of doctors and nurses, ignore the recommendations and guidelines and cut off the pay for Healthcare workers working front-line. In government hospitals too the Hazard compensation has not been provided. With more health personals going into quarantine, the remaining doctors have been overworked and harassed by mobs.
How the Health personals are exploited in COVID Crisis?
- No proper safety measures and not taking need for Personal Protective Equipment ( PPE) , Masks and no proper training on doffing and donning of PPE. Most PPE are merely Windcheater and Raincoats.
- No proper segregation of fever patients and no proper isolation and quarantine at workplace. Most centers have created some stalls just to gain the government COVID funds.
- No proper facility for exposed health workers. After exposure to positive case, there is no quarantine facility and they are on their own.
- Threat from patients, attendants and political institutes.
- Cut off of salaries for same medical people who work in front-line despite the urge by government not to. No one really bothers about government orders. Some medical colleges are first to cut pay to doctors and nurses , even the University Hospital of Kathmandu University cut off pay to 25% which was a great example set by the greedy private sector, just to be joined by its affiliated colleges.
- No proper insurance facilities to the front-line workers. It is basically jump and die for workers.
- Over-work and blaming everything on health workers and making them easy scapegoats.
- No security in emergencies leading to recurrent manhandling of doctors. This is normal for the State now.
Medical colleges have been worst place to working for health-care workers recently. Too much exploitation has led to loss of motivation among the people ,whose job is also to motivate the new generation of doctors and nurses.
Basically, the deaths of healthcare workers from COVID has been taken as an incident rather than sacrifice. Exploitation of medical personals was already at peak in Nepal and India, now it has only worsened. No medical persons life is worth so low that they don’t even deserve proper compensation and insurance. Government needs to show its presence and step in even in private sector and curb the lawlessness in private health care sector and Private medical college sector.