MESSAGE UPDATE 29th April 2020
Writing a blog is has its own challenges. Blogger always face the challenge to gauge the interests of their readers. Since 25thMarch 2007 when the ‘Message Board of DADWA appeared on www.dadwa.com, it was an instant hit as it was the need of hour then. But after WhatsApp caught the fancy of our readers, they have found instant gratification of demand for information and answers. Here the issues get discussed as soon as they are born and that too in a span of a few days, if not hours before something new comes up.
DADWA’s blog “Message Update” suffered but soon we improvised and our Core-committee formed a WhatsApp Group which still continues to deliberate on contemporary issues facing the service doctors. However, there is a limitation on the number of members in a group, the office bearers of DADWA have become active participants in several groups of like-minded Associations of Service Doctors.
But WhatsApp has a shortcoming; the ease of sharing audios and videos leads to flooding. Attention span of members becomes low and it is almost impossible for them to delve on issues, how-so-ever important beyond a few hours.
It was a pleasant surprise for us to receive requests from a sizeable section of our members and well-wishers from across the country, urging us to refresh our blog with updates. Covid epidemic and their concerns about their safety and that of their colleagues seems to be weighing heavily on their minds; especially because the electronic media and the Public Health System spokesmen continue to downplay the safety issues of doctors and the HCWs.
Most members have conveyed that Sate Governments and GOI do not appear to be giving as much attention towards unsafe working conditions and violence against doctors etc. as is required during its fight with Covid. DADWA has learnt from the doctors in many Delhi Hospitals that frontline workers did not get proper protective N-95 masks and PPE thus exposing them to avoidable risk of contracting Covid-19.
It is not surprising to see that many hospitals, both from private and public sectors were had to be shut due to large scale exposure of the HCWs. Latest in the list are the Babu Jagjeevan Ram Memorial Hospital, Janahngir Puri and the Bara Hindu Rao Hospital. Services in Dr. B.S.A. Hospital in Rohini are severely affected and the list is growing.
Everyone knows that in a war with Covid, there would always be injuries and casualties but DADWA is of the view that this should be acknowledged, risks to the HCWs duly explained in advance and they should be duly compensated for working in hazardous areas. As medical personnel we foresee that this war with Covid is unlikely to be over in the short term, especially the way the city of Delhi has behaved during lockdown. The brunt of such a scenario is beginning to fall inadvertently on the Covid Warriors who are getting consumed in this fight for no fault of theirs. They are facing violence by those who are in need of their service, discriminated against and treated as a Covid-threat in the areas where they live.
The above demands put forth by DADWA are not new and Army personnel deal with such hostile situations during war and get duly compensated and rewarded both during their life and death. Let the Doctors, Nurses and other Healthcare Workers be no exception!
DADWA appreciates the efforts of our MoH&FW Dr. Harsh Vardhan and Union Home Minister Sh. Amit Shah in bringing Ordnance to protect the Covid Workforce (HCW, Police and others). We look forward to its implementation at the ground level. But it is also a fact that Covid Warriors instead of getting an appreciation or some special compensatory allowance for the high-risk essential duties are greeted with the news of their DA being withdrawn and there is some special tax on the horizon to fund for the freebies announced by the government.
It is pertinent to mention that the Service doctors of CHS/DHS continue to be denied the benefits of 7th Pay Commission in terms of allowances like NPA, TA, Conveyance Allowance etc. Worst, those above 62 years of age and in service are being denied seniority in promotions. One of best and senior most, who have worked on responsible positions, are being made to work on posts much lower than their past status. Even top post of the country, the DGHS, has seen senior officers getting changed every few months. Recently the MOHFW amended the CHS Rules to change the Recruitment Rules so as to appoint an officer as the Special DGHS because none was eligible due to its faulty policy that no one above 62 years of age would continue to hold his/her CHS/DHS duty post.
It is time MOHFW becomes our spokesman and carries out a rethink of its past polices that have adversely affected the service doctors. Let there be no ambiguity in its stand that Doctors are a precious resource during Covid Times.
Rest of the issues including progress of our court cases will be taken up in next update. Meanwhile keep writing to us on WhatsApp and on this website in its ‘Views and Comments’ section.
- Secretary DADWA