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Doctor on Covid duty at Delhi hospital resigns, claims area SDM misbehaved with him

Dr Prasad said he had been working at the ICU on Saturday since 9 am till 4 pm, without a break, and had asked four BDS staff deputed on his floor to help him with patients as they were critical and there was staff shortage.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi |
Updated: May 2, 2021 8:56:28 pm
Doctors check Covid-19 patients at CWG Covid Care Centre in New Delhi.

A doctor on Covid duty at Rajiv Gandhi Super Speciality Hospital has resigned, alleging that he was asked to depute staff for managing video calls with relatives of patients instead of helping provide intensive care to them.

Dr Shaleen Prasad, who submitted his resignation letter to the hospital director on Saturday, also alleged that the area sub-divisional (SDM) magistrate had misbehaved with him for preventing BDS staff on his floor from doing video calls with patients’ relatives to inform them about their health status.

His resignation letter stated, “I had requested the SDM to allow me to use BDS staff as life-saving aid for patients, instead of video calling, in view of severe shortage of junior resident and senior resident (staff) at the 6th floor ICU. Currently, I am working with 1 junior resident and 1 senior resident… total patients present at the ICU is approximately 50.”

The hospital director did not respond to calls and messages from The Indian Express and SDM Dr Nitin Shakya refuted the allegations made against him. He also alleged that the doctor had hit him during their exchange.

Dr Prasad said he had been working at the ICU on Saturday since 9 am till 4 pm, without a break, and had asked four BDS staff deputed on his floor to help him with patients as they were critical and there was staff shortage.

“The BDS staff were asked to be on duty on the floor as the patients were very critical. Four deaths happened on that day… Later, I came out of the ICU and was in a central area where PPE kits are not required. The SDM came in a PPE kit and, at first, I did not recognise who it was. He asked me why I was not allowing BDS to be on video call. I said I am in charge here and responsible for saving patients’ lives, which is more important than a video call,” Dr Prasad said.

He claimed the SDM humiliated him by shouting at him and asking him to follow the directions given to him.

“If the hospital director would have come to tell me that BDS should do video calls and patients should be left to die, I still would not have done that,” Dr Prasad said.

SDM Shakya, attached with the hospital for Covid management, said there were grievances by relatives that they were not receiving patient status, and to facilitate it the hospital started vital monitoring, statistics reporting and video calling service with help of BDS residents, besides their clinical assistance.

“I found some patients’ negligence on 6th floor and reported the same to Dr Shaleen Prasad but he was not ready to listen and started shouting at me. He was not wearing a mask or PPE kit. I also requested him that at least one medical professional must be present inside patient care area, so that if there is any medical emergency it can be managed timely, and also our BDS residents, besides clinical assistance, should timely communicate vitals of patients to Covid help desk — so that we timely inform the status of patient to their relatives. But Dr Shaleen was not ready to listen and started thrashing me,” he alleged in a statement.

Dr Prasad denied that he hit the SDM and said there were other medical staff present in the area who can corroborate that. He also said the SDM’s personal secretary was making a video of the exchange and if he had hit the SDM, it would have been recorded.

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