No matter how noble the job of a doctor is, it is also extremely taxing. And more often than not, patients and people from other domains fail to realise it. So, when pictures of a tired surgeon — sleeping on the hospital floor after an exhausting day — floated on the Internet, people couldn’t stop themselves from hailing him as a hero.
According to reports, the surgeon performed five surgeries and served a mammoth 28-hour long shift. Though people from all across the globe saluted him for his dedication and expressed their concern about the long duty hours, it came as little surprise to the Indian counterparts.
The pictures of Dr Luo Heng, taken at a hospital in Dingyuan county in east China’s Anhui Province, were posted and widely shared on Weibo with heart emojis. “He worked overnight to perform two surgeries, and conducted three more operations the following day,” the China Global TV Network reported.
“He had worked overnight to perform two urgent operations, followed by three more the next day,” according to a number of Chinese news sites. Reportedly the photos were taken on March 30, when Heng fell asleep on the floor simply with a grass mat, after working non-stop for 28 hours.
While many users applauded his efforts, few also highlighted the side effect of long working hours and pointed out the dangers of patients with doctors working long shifts.
In India, resident doctors and surgical interns spend many hours without sleep or proper rest, let alone leaves. Overburdening them with long working hours, hospital authorities often exploit young doctors here.
Two years back, a global protest was started where a medical resident was pulled up for sleeping behind a desk at a hospital in Monterrey, Mexico. Following in his footsteps, doctors from around the world shared their sleeping pics with the hashtag #YoTambienMeDormi (“I’ve also fallen asleep” in Spanish).
— EcuadorTV (@EcuadorTV) May 14, 2015
— MD. Pao Pérez (@pao_perezf) May 16, 2015
Certainly, Heng is not alone!