The Indian Medical Association (IMA) has directed the Calcutta police the names of doctors who can contact officers at police stations if families of COVID-19 patients who are in home isolation require any medical assistance.
Officers explained that the affected families can approach the local police stations regarding any emergency and can be related to any family member, not only the COVID patients.
The list has attached two to four doctors with every police station in the city. A member of the association said that the doctors live or work in the areas that are guarded by the respective police stations.
The state president of the association, Santanu Sen, said that the list of doctors was arranged after complaints started to emerge that the condition of few COVID patients in home isolation is rapidly deteriorating between the time when the family members call the health department’s helpline for an ambulance and ambulance arrival. The family members then get panicked as they don’t know what to do and which hospital to approach.
During a meeting which was held at the Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC) last week, officials discussed the problem faced by several families when a coronavirus patient develops difficulty in breathing or other complications but doesn’t have any confirmation when an ambulance would come to take the patient to hospital.
A senior state government official who was present at the meeting said that people should initially call any health department’s numbers that are mentioned on its website for an ambulance, however it often takes some time to arrive. If the patient’s condition worsens in the meantime then the family can approach police, who can call any of the doctors mentioned on the list and get help.
A civic official said that providing doctor’s phone numbers to the police stations are among several steps the government took to lessen the troubles faced by families of coronavirus patients. The doctor’s numbers should not be displayed publicly and should be available with police officers only.
The police officers can also call any doctor from the list if any patient with fever also fails to get a doctor’s appointment. There have received complaints that few doctors refuse to see patients with fever.