Many healthcare workers have to make sacrifices

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 25 Mar 2020

PETALING JAYA: Many on the front lines of the Covid-19 pandemic are working tirelessly to contain the outbreak – even at their own expense.

A doctor in a northern state said team members handling Covid-19 cases still have to manage other hospital duties and patients.

The doctor, who declined to be named, said while the hospital does not have as many cases as Sungai Buloh Hospital, the medical staff members have to set separate schedules for their usual medical duties and Covid-19 patients.

Besides doing ward rounds, the doctors have to be on call for positive and suspected Covid-19 cases.

“There was once a patient who came to the hospital at 10pm. I have already returned home and showered, but then my specialist called me saying there was a positive case who is coming, so I had to go back to the hospital.

“When I finally left the hospital again it was close to midnight, then the next day I still have to work the normal shift, ” she said, adding that all leave had been frozen.

She said as she is separated from her husband and parents who are living in another state, she is thankful that they are understanding of the nature of her job, although they are worried.

“I wasn’t initially part of the team to handle Covid-19 cases.

“At first I was quite reluctant. But someone has to do it, someone has to step up to it, ” she said.

Jessica (not her real name), another doctor from a hospital in Ipoh, said it was “emotionally tiring” and “stressful” when patients hide their symptoms and history.

“There were times when we only discovered a patient is Covid-19 positive later, after which we have to trace all the medical staff members who were exposed, and we have to decontaminate all the rooms.

“It is very important for patients to be honest because it affects not only the patient but the healthcare workers and their family members, ” she said.

“I also have to quarantine myself for the time being, as I am worried for my parents.”

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