Decision Maker Response

Dr Santanu Sen’s response

Mar 25, 2020 — In these unprecedented times, this petition raises a very crucial point of protecting our Health Workers from Covid-19 and taking proactive measures to provide them with adequate Personal Protective Equipment. Many medical professionals have made exactly the same point to the Indian Medical Association and have expressed grave concern about the safety of health workers who are being exposed to patients who are carriers of the Covid virus.

Millions of doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers are risking their lives to help our country surmount this massive health crisis. If they get infected in the line of duty, it is a big blow to them and their families. But if they are infected because India failed to provide them with adequate protective gear, then we would have collectively failed our health workers.

We are still dealing with a few hundred patients and we are preparing for the worst. This is the time for the government to get its act together and take all necessary steps to protect its front line workers. Health care workers are making many appeals through social media and through formal representations to the government. If it is not addressed immediately this will lower the morale of our healthcare workers.

As the National President of the Indian Medical Association, I urge the government to reassure all medical staff that their safety is our top priority. I urge the government to publicly list out the steps taken to procure the best quality Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), and reveal details, date wise, on the stages of procurement and the quantity of these PPEs. It seems there is a complete confusion among the manufactures of PPEs, the same needs to be addressed at the earliest.

Clapping in appreciation alone won’t work. We need to walk the talk and truly ensure that they can do their work without any fear. Even if a single healthcare worker is infected due to government negligence, it will be a blot on our face.

Thank you for the opportunity to add my voice to this petition,

Dr Santanu Sen
National President Indian Medical Association & Member of Parliament, Rajya Sabha