"To Prove We Worked": UP Doctors Quit Posts Over 'Endless' Covid Review

The doctors are in charge of Community Health Centres and Primary Health Care centres in Unnao. Both these places are rural hospitals that provide frontline healthcare to villages.

Uttar Pradesh: 11 of the 14 doctors handed over the letter to Unnao chief medical officer's deputy.

Highlights

  • Doctors said they are being made scapegoats for Covid rise in district
  • 11 doctors handed over the letter to Unnao chief medical officer's deputy
  • Unnao has 1,980 active cases and reported 84 fresh cases on Wednesday
Lucknow:

Fourteen government doctors in Uttar Pradesh's Unnao, just 40 km from capital Lucknow, who are in charge of rural hospitals in the district, have resigned from their posts saying they are being made the scapegoats for the rise in Covid infections in the district.

The doctors are in charge of Community Health Centres and Primary Health Care centres in Unnao. Both these places are rural hospitals that provide frontline healthcare to villages.

Eleven of the 14 doctors who signed on a joint resignation letter visited the office of Unnao's chief medical officer on Wednesday evening and handed over the letter to his deputy. In the letter, reviewed by NDTV, the doctors say that despite working hard in the pandemic, punitive action and bad behavior is being meted out to doctors without any basis.

Unnao's district magistrate issued a fresh statement this afternoon, saying things have been sorted out and that the doctors have taken back their resignations. "We had spoken to them last evening itself and they had taken back their decision in the night itself. They met with me today. I listened to their problems and gave them solutions and have assured them their concerns will be attended to. We spoke in a cordial manner. This was an internal matter," district magistrate Ravindra Kumar said in a statement.

"The problem is that our teams are working round the clock, but it seems we are being marked out for 'not working'. The DM, other officials, even the SDM and the tehsildar are all supervising us and holding review meetings. Our teams leave at noon, track and isolate Covid positive patients, get sampling done, distribute medicines and then, once we are back, we get calls from SDM asking to come for review meetings. Even if someone is posted 30 km away, he or she is bound to travel all the 30 km for these review meetings. We have to prove that we have worked. It seems it is being suggested that because we are not working, the Covid infection is spreading," said Dr Sharad Vaishya, one of the doctors who signed on the resignation letter.

Unnao currently has 1,980 active Covid cases and reported 84 fresh cases and zero new deaths on Wednesday evening.  The same day, multiple bodies were found buried in sand at two locations by the Ganga in the district. Mobile phone visuals from both locations showed many buried bodies with locals looking on; most of the bodies were wrapped in saffron cloth.

Uttar Pradesh, the country's most populous state, recorded 18,023 new COVID-19 cases in the last 24 hours, according to data from the Union Health Ministry. 326 Covid patients died in the same period. It is fourth in the list of worst-hit states in India.