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It’s time to speak up for health worker safety

The Covid-19 pandemic has disarranged the global healthcare system and has taken close to a million deaths and close to 28 million people infected. Whereas with social distancing and lockdown implementation, the Covid-19 toll on the general public has seen a plateau, on the other hand, the ones at maximum danger are the healthcare workers.

While being exposed to the risk of infections, healthcare workers are also facing huge risks and challenges such as violence, social stigma, disturbance to psychological and emotional well being, illnesses and in some cases, even deaths.

To raise awareness about the dire situation our frontline workers are facing, this year’s patient safety day theme has been declared as – Health Worker Safety: A Priority for Patient Safety.

Even at a time of COVID-19, healthcare workers have put up a brave front and are selflessly serving people, but working under intense pressure and a compromised environment may be harmful to them as well as to their patients.

Hence, it is important for us to realize and advocate that during a time of prevailing crisis, health safety for health workers is a priority and the first step towards ensuring patient safety.

Measures by the Indian government to ensure safety of healthcare workers

1: Medical safety Distribution of PPEs and N95 masks are carried out across state and government hospitals. Regular tests are performed and the ones showing symptoms are observed.

2: Psychological support They have been encouraged to practice stress management techniques and are provided a dedicated toll-free helpline number for psycho-social support.

3: Training Training resources are being developed for medical and non-medical staff on infection prevention and control , personal protection and physical distancing norms.

4: Timely payments Mandatory timely payments for the frontline workers such as the ASHA workers and service providers.

5: Updated courses Based on the evolving guidelines and new content on a diverse range of topics the courses are being updated on the platform on a daily basis. It is made sure that each course content is uniquely designed, mapped, and aligned for various professionals like doctors, nurses, AYUSH, frontline workers, etc.

Challenges faced by the healthcare workers As we fight together to minimize the damage to lives and health by acceleration of pandemic, healthcare workers continue to face and fight a cluster of problems. Some of these are:

1: PPE kit shortages: Even with government trying its best to provide kits to healthcare workers across the nation, the exponentially increasing cases have left many of them exposed to infected patients without any proper protection kit

2: Inadequate equipment: Many reports suggest there is a shortage of equipment like ventilators and doctors have shared incidence of waiting for arrival of an equipment while with a critical patient

3: Fear of passing the infection: Daily exposure to infections keep them in fear of passing the infection to their family and friends.

4: Stress of working overtime: Increasing incidences of cases have left healthcare workers with not much options other than stretching their working hours. Long hours at work are taking a toll on their physiological and mental well-being, and indirectly affecting their ability to treat as well.

Presetly, healthcare workers are every nations’ most valuable assets. Thus, it is important that the need to provide them enough protection, food, rest, physiological and emotional support is talked openly. This will only help them do their duty properly and leave a lesser room for errors.

Patients safety can only be ensured when the ones treating them are safe

Disclaimer: Indian Health Bureau does not claim any responsibility for the information contained in this article. The information may not hold good for everyone. The post is for general awareness only and should not be construed as a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Please consult your own doctor to know what is good for you.




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