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On Thursday, the IMA said that private medical physicians in Goa are facing lot of harassment and discrimination from the people of Goa in this COVID-19 pandemic. Dr S Samuel, who is the Indian Medical Association (IMA) Goa unit chief said that two members from their unit were targeted by people after they were tested positive for the COVID-19.
Samuel said that a colleague also had to suffer mental trauma after he was accused of "medical negligence" while giving treatment to patients. Samuel said that one of a doctor whose patient was tested positive for COVID-19 had to face public wrath on social media platform. Also, in one more case, a doctor who had tested negative for coronavirus, was targeted of fake messages claiming that he was tested positive. He further added that members of the medical community are rapidly facing harassment and discrimination even though they are at the forefront agaisnt COVID-19.
Samuel urged the Goan people to end discriminating against doctors, nurses and healthcare workers, who are working diligently to halt the spread of coronavirus infection Dr Samuel was addressing a press conference in Margao. At present, private hospitals are having shortage of staff. Family members of many nurses are not sending them to work due to fear of getting infected. Many hospitals in Goa are working only with 20 per cent of their total staff strength.
Dr Samuel also mentioned that doctors managing patients for diseases other than COVID-19 are also at risk of getting infected by the coronavirus as they have to deal with many people at a time. They also fear that the ongoing harassment and discrimination towards doctors and nurses will keep on increasing in the future. Doctors could have closed their clinics and hospitals and stayed safely at home, but they are serving people. The IMA has requested that the state government should provide the doctors and healthcare workers a separate paid facility in hotels to get admitted if they test positive. Dr Samuel said that they are also ready to pay if they are provided with separate facility for the doctors and their family members if tested positive for COVID-19.