As COVID-19 has spread all over the world, and in our daily life, we always see on T.V, social media, read any article or blog posts about people dying every day due to COVID, but no one is talking about how doctors or healthcare workers either they are senior or junior, are being infected the most by a coronavirus, which is becoming more alarming.
As seen in the graph below, these countries are at the highest risk of COVID-19.
Before the COVID outbreak, precautionary measures like social distancing, wearing masks by people and doctors were not practiced universally but, after the outbreak spreading awareness to people in keeping social distancing and following SOP’s became common, but in a country like Pakistan still, we lack in following these simple rules. When COVID started to spread Doctors didn’t even have the safety or precautionary measures e.g. PPE (personal protective equipment) which was voiced by the doctors and healthcare professionals, but soon the lack of personal protective equipment was managed. After COVID, another virus has emerged, which was first identified in India, named Delta. As China has reported that Delta is 10 times even more dangerous than COVID-19, even though countries like China, Russia, etc. have developed vaccines, but still, they are urging people to practice social distance, wear masks, and sanitize their hands as much as they can.
LACK OF HEALTH FACILITIES AND NUMBER OF HUMAN RESOURCES:
Pakistan having around 200 million population, a middle-income country, with limited resources having weak health facilities, and limited healthcare systems it is very difficult to curb this situation. The doctors and healthcare workers who are working day and night, are risking their lives to ensure safety for people and, even because of overpopulation and the rise of COVID cases there are very few doctors and healthcare workers in different provinces of Pakistan. COVID-19 has reminded us that we are in a vulnerable situation due to a lack of healthcare resources and unpreparedness in human capital- nurses, doctors, healthcare systems, etc. So the engagement of doctors, nurses, and medical students is much more needed.
Pakistan is a poor country, with weak and inefficient healthcare systems, in both private and public sectors there are very few numbers beds and ventilators which are one of the crucial factors in Intensive Care Unit (ICU), but keeping in the viewpoint of overpopulation, the requirements of ventilators became huge stress for the healthcare workers so, in the response of COVID-19, America in collaboration with NDMA (Pakistan National Disaster Management Authority) has provided 100 brand new ventilators to Pakistan. But hospitals beds are in deficient amount and still, doctors and health workers are struggling to keep their patients at ease even in the darkest hour.
NUMBER OF BEDS:
The graphical representation given below shows that there are only 132663 beds in Pakistan, and the rest of the percentages shows the number of beds province-wise. Due to the exponential outbreak and rising of severely ill patients, the requirements of beds are very much needed or nothing will be left for doctors and healthcare workers.
DEATH RATES OF DOCTORS GLOBALLY AND IN PAKISTAN:
As shown in the table above, the mortality rates of doctors and health workers, are also increasing, those people whom we look upon in times of danger are striving and risking their lives to save ours, even young doctors have also passed away due to the spread of COVID but people are not taking the virus seriously, and they don’t even bother themselves in following SOPS. If we don’t care for doctors and health workers, then who will?
Dr. Rahat Anwer Chaudary demanded that there should also be some separate hospitals for doctors and health workers, as they are playing their role as frontlines and their death rates are increasing day by day because of dealing with tons of COVID patients.
ISSUES AND CHALLENGES OF FEMALE DOCTORS:
The conference in Sindh was held by female doctors, that they are facing multiple burdens, saving lives, dealing with the plethora of COVID patients, and, lastly they have to spend their time with families as well. They are scared to work in hospitals 24/7 and when they take their time off, they quarantined themselves to ensure safety for their family members. The female doctors urged people to stay at home, follow the SOPS strictly if not then it will be really hard for us to curb this situation not only to female doctors but also to young and professional doctors and healthcare workers. And due to the rise of patients, they have to take double shifts as well, which means they have to face a double burden.
Keeping in the viewpoint of limited healthcare systems, the doctors are enforcing to have strict lockdown and they are also urging people to follow SOP’s and practice social distancing which is not being seen in Pakistan, the citizens should cooperate with doctors and health workers other than that, there should be separate centers or hospitals for health workers and doctors. Because those people are playing their role as frontline and their mortality rates are also rising. If the doctors and healthcare workers are dying and are not being cooperated, then how will the country survive without them and who we will look upon to treat us? If people are not cooperating with doctors, and they are being careless and not taking the virus seriously, then the situation will be like Italy. As shown in the graph below are different regions of Italy, the death rate of doctors in Italy is 133 which is the highest death rate of doctors than in other regions of Italy.