'Time to show you care': Bengaluru doctor appeals to medical staff to come back to work

Many doctors at HBS Hospital in Shivajinagar have gone on leave


Amid the COVID-19 crisis, a Bengaluru doctor’s fervent appeal to his medical staff to come back to work has gone viral.

“I have beds. I have ventilators. I have all the equipment. I have another 30 beds like this but I don’t have doctors working here. I find them all on WhatsApp. I just need six hours of your time a day. This is the time to show that you care. Sometimes the fire people are on the frontline, sometimes the police is on the frontline, Right now, you and I, my fellow doctors are on the front line. Let us show that we care for humanity,’’ says Dr, Taha Mateen, managing trustee of HBS Hospital in Shivajinagar, in Bengaluru, in a video shared on Twitter, Instagram and WhatsApp.

The 80-bed hospital is currently battling COVID-19 with just five doctors and 12 nurses. The hospital had 40 doctors until recently. However, most of them have gone on leave, citing reasons such as headache, comorbidities like diabetes and BP, and old age. Of the 20 nurses, eight are on leave.

“I speak from the ICU of HBS Hospital. It has been a virtual bloodbath. I came this morning at 7.30am and it is 12 O’clock in the midnight right now. Patients are continuously calling me. Because their fathers are breathless, their daughters are breathless, their brothers are breathless, and they cannot find a room in Bengaluru. There is one Mr Shiva here. There’s me. There is no other doctor who is willing to work in this hospital at this point of time,’’ says Dr. Mateen in the video. ''This is somebody's mother, this is somebody's brother and this is somebody's dad. Are we gonna stand up? Let us show we care. It does not matter how long we live, what matters is how we live,'' he says.

Meanwhile, Dr Rajesh Rao, an anesthesiologist, has taken to social media to explain the other side of the story. “We know there is problem. Workers are reluctant to work and they have vanished. They are scared like you are. Administrators and other healthcare workers are humans. We agree problems are there, and they will increase in due course. A new health infrastructure catering to such problems cannot be developed overnight. Municipal corporation can be more active in such a situation rather than just keep on sending notices,’’ he says.