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Front line workers express their dissatisfaction towards state’s health security system amid COVID-19

The government has promised to pay incentive for the frontline officers but the sad part is most of them haven’t received any incentives. I think the government should consider the situation and provide incentives as soon as possible. Similarly, health workers who are working in isolation should be taken special care by the government.
health workers collecting swab for PCR- test at Bhanu Municipality, Tanahu picture- Krishna Neupane

By Phurpa Sherpa, Kathmandu:-  All the professionals such as health workers, police officers, media persons who are working have been going through a tough time due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr. Ajit Kumar Sah

Dr. Ajit Kumar Sah said “I think none of the doctors expect to be treated like a hero but yeah at least don’t create the space for hate towards us. It’s our responsibility to serve and we are doing our best. Every doctor has spent 6 years of their precious life in studying to heal people. I guarantee every doctor wishes not to see any patient dying in front of them. So I would like to request the society if you can’t motivate us, please don’t demotivate us.

We are not God; we try our best to bring a smile on the patient face. The greatest motivation for any health worker is just when a patient gets healed and gets discharged from a hospital with a smile. So please respect your doctors. We are also human beings, we are much more stressed than you are, if  rude and inhuman behavior towards health professionals continues, a time will come when we will get fed up and have to quit”

As everyone is aware of the risks, we too live with our family. Every time we go for duty, we are not just keeping ourselves on risk; we are involving our family too. I haven’t faced a problem due to neighbors but yeah most of the health professionals are being accused of spreading COVID-19 in society. Even our family doesn’t want us to go for duty but we are bound by medical ethics. We can’t leave our profession just due to the risk. We along with our family are unsafe.“The way the people are showing behavior towards the doctors should understand that even those people might be a positive case soon. Please let us do our job peacefully and you people stay at home peacefully.” Said, Sah.

He added, the government has promised to pay incentive for the frontline officers but the sad part is most of them haven’t received any incentives. I think the government should consider the situation and provide incentives as soon as possible. Similarly, health workers who are working in isolation should be taken special care by the government. We are working because people need us not for a salary.

The government should emphasize on;

1) Proper PPE

2) Arrange a place to stay especially for those who are working in isolation.

3) COVID-19 insurance for health workers.

4) No separate COVID-19 and non-COVID-19 hospital, every hospital must admit COVID-19 case.

5) Free treatment for doctors who get infected during their duty time.

6) Last but not the least; don’t mix politics and health services. Provide us a proper environment to work without the unnecessary pressure from the government.

The government has never taken health as a serious issue. This is the reason most of the doctors leave this country. If the government can’t provide the basic facility at this moment, the number of health professionals migrating abroad will increase. Most of the countries are busy in research and production of vaccines while we Nepalese are waiting for the day when any other country will donate our vaccine. This is all because most of the well-educated peoples have already migrated.

And the government should focus on making a central COVID-19 isolation center in every state which can accommodate a large number of patients. The numbers of positive cases are not going to decrease very soon. Also, new health workers should be recruited with the proper facility. Well everytime we see any patient either COVID-19 or non-COVID-19, we hope to see smiles sooner on their face. Even we are afraid of risking our lives but the way patients believe in us makes us happy enough to work.

Similarly, Nepal Police spokesperson KuberKadayat said, out of 1200 COVID-19 positive cases in the police officer but 420 cases have recovered and 780 positive police officers are having treatment.

Withthe rise in COVID-19 cases in the country, there are more chances of getting infected with the virus so for now, there are no chances of going home (holiday) only for important work such as maternity leave, maternity care leave and so on. As it is not possible to go home,  if they go home then need to stay home quarantine and after coming back to duty again they need to stay self-quarantine.

Bhawani Adhikari

BhawaniAdhikari, Vice President, Federation of a Nepali Journalists, Syangja, Annapurna Post, District Correspondent said, “First I am a woman, then journalism is my profession.” My responsibility to take care of the family and reporting is reduced to me in my spare time. However, I have the double responsibility of managing time.

Home management becomes a bit easier. The table can be matched, but journalism; it has neither a definite time nor a standard. You have to be vigilant at any time. I am now at home following the government’s announcement of lockdown to control the problem caused by the coronavirus infection.

From waking up at 5 am to 11-12 pm, I write news for print and online from home. It is not possible to reach all the areas and do on-site reporting. I have been writing news at home with information over the phone. There has been no shortage of news coverage.

“I have informed about the state of COVID-19 infection in the district through regular media. Incidents in the district, including coronavirus, economic, social, gender, political, good governance, health, and other news have received priority. I have given continuity to these. I have spent some time studying political and religious books lockdown has provided opportunities to watch radio, television, listen to children types of food, learn to cook and teach.” Said, Adhikari,

“Life has taught me to stay indoors for more than two months. The use of information technology has brought distant relatives closer. The current situation is the most dangerous for journalists. Journalists have been at the forefront of various political changes and periods and are now forced to report from home. Is there any hidden truth while reporting from home? Is there no life left when you go out? Journalists in such a situation have risen above professionalism and fulfilled their social responsibility.”

She added, Communicating factual news to the general public is the professional religion of a journalist, while conveying factual information is also the responsibility of the state and the general stakeholders. Therefore, it is very sad that the state seems to be indifferent towards the health security of the journalists who are constantly on duty in such a dangerous situation and the state has not addressed this issue so far. Therefore, the state should remember not only the ‘Fourth Estate’ but also the fourth organ.

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