PGs are considered the backbone of medical college hospitals and every time a healthcare worker catches an infection, they have to go into isolation and recover from the disease before being declared fit to resume work. This is resulting in an acute shortage of staff and is exerting stress on the functioning of the entire hospital system.
At Kasturba Medical College, Mangaluru, there have been close to 70 PG and UG interns who have been infected, beside doctors.
“We have made arrangements to provide isolation wards and other facilities to the infected,” said Dr Venkataraya Prabhu, dean, Kasturba Medical College. “It’s a big concern when a critical workforce is absent for a long period. The entire system gets jeopardized.”
Dr Jayaprakash Alva, dean, Father Muller Medical College, said they have been able to reduce the risk of infection among their interns and PGs. “It’s not that our students have not been infected. We have been able to reduce the numbers as only a small group of interns/PGs are assigned duties. The groups are rotated,” Dr Alva said.
At Yenepoya Medical College, which was designated a Covid-19 hospital and where 50% of its beds are reserved for Covid patients, close to 125 people including UG interns, PG doctors, nurses and other hospital staff, have been infected so far. Dr M Vijayakumar, vice-chancellor, Yenepoya University (deemed to be university) said the varsity has devised its own SOPs to tackle the spread of the virus.
“This has helped to reduce the risk of infection among our staffers and students,” Dr Vijayakumar said. “We have set aside one whole floor to isolate and treat staff if they test positive for the virus.”
The varsity also has reduced duty hours of doctors who wear PPE kits from eight hours to six. The hospital also provides health insurance for all its staffers.