PANAJI: Private medical practitioners in Goa are facing discrimination and harassment at the hands of people in the wake of COVID-19 outbreak, the IMA said on Thursday.
Indian Medical Association (IMA) Goa unit chief Dr S Samuel said two of their members were targeted by people after they tested positive for the coronavirus infection.
Samuel said a colleague had to undergo mental trauma after he was accused of "medical negligence" while treating patients.
"In once instance, a doctor whose patient tested positive for COVID-19 had to face public wrath on social media.
"In another case, a doctor who had tested negative, was a target of fake messages which claimed he had tested positive," Samuel said.
Members of the medical fraternity are increasingly facing discrimination and harassment though they are at the forefront of fighting COVID-19, he said.
Addressing a press conference in Margao near here, Samuel urged the people of Goa to stop discriminating against doctors and other health workers, including nurses, who have been working to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Private hospitals are currently running with thin staff.
Family members of several nurses are refusing to send them to work fearing they may get infected, he said.
Samuel said many hospitals in Goa are working with just 20 per cent of their total staff strength.
He said doctors treating patients for ailments other than COVID-19 are also likely to be infected by the virus as they are dealing with so many people at a time.
We fear that harassment and discrimination towards doctors will increase in the future.
Doctors could have very well closed their clinics, hospitals and stayed at home, but they are going out and serving people, he said.
The IMA has demanded that the state government provide separate paid facility for doctors in hotels to admit themselves if they test positive, Samuel said.
We are ready to pay but we should be provided separate facility if we or our family members test positive, he said.