The Chief Medical Director of Dalhatu Araf Specialist Hospital, Lafia, Dr Ikrama Hassan, has appealed to the Association of Residents Doctors to have a rethink over its plan to downscale service.
This he said had become necessary as the second wave of COVID -19 rages.
Dr Hassan was reacting to the doctors’ plans to downscale services in all the departments of the hospital due to rising rate of COVID-19 infection among health workers.
He dismissed the allegation by the association that 35 doctors tested positive for COVID – 19 as untrue.
According to Hassan, only 15 doctors out of 139 doctors currently on ground in the hospital tested positive to the virus.
He said that the second wave of the pandemic which was adjudged to be more infectious and deadlier that the first needed concerted effort to tackle.
He stressed that calling for scaling down of medical services at this time would result in high mortality rate in the state.
Dr Hassan said the plan to downscale medical services was not rational and therefore unacceptable.
“Our responsibility as a management of the hospital is to ensure that all our members of staff are protected in the course of discharging their duties.
“You can hardly achieve 100 per cent non-transmission. However, adequate arrangement is made for treatment when it happens.
“My call is for us to have a milk of human sympathy. We have adequate Personal Protective Equipment, adequate facemasks for all our staff.
“We make provision for clothes facemasks for all our patients’ relations and hand washing facilities are placed at strategic points within the hospital,’’ he said.
“All we are saying is that let us dialogue. If three persons test positive to the virus in a particular department, what is the justification for closing down other departments where no single person tested positive’’?
“We are in pandemic period. Having a large number of people getting infected even among health workers is not something unexpected. That is why we are making arrangements to reduce it to the barest minimum.
“We have asked the clinics not to allow patients to come at the same time. If for instance you want to attend to 40 patients in a day, you will ask 10 persons to come at a particular hour, and another 10 persons to come at another hour with their facemasks on,’’ Dr Hassan added.
He admitted that it was the responsibility of the management of the hospital to protect its staff by providing all the necessary tools for them to work as well as ensuring that they were protected.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the association told newsmen on Thursday that its members might have to scale down services in all the departments because of high rate of COVID-19 infection among health workers in the facility.