AAP criticises govt for ‘ignoring’ frontline COVID warriors

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NT NETWORK

Panaji

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), on Monday,  criticised the Sawant governnment for “ignoring the frontline COVID warriors and driving them to the point
of despair.”

Dr Mariano Godinho, chief of AAP’s medical cell and former government health officer himself, expressed disgust at the state of affairs which led to the Goa Association of Resident Doctors (GARD) writing a public letter to the GMC dean, out of desperation.

Reminding that the AAP had demanded more than 10 days back that the government should appoint a nodal officer exclusively to resolve doctors’ issues expeditiously, Dr Godinho lamented that now both doctors and patients are suffering more due to the government’s apathy.

He said that the damning letter exposes a lot of serious issues that were sought to be covered up by Health Minister Vishwajit  Rane and the Chief Minister Sawant, including the most serious issue of oxygen shortage.

Dr Godinho said the Chief Minister needs to immediately investigate the claim that patients have already lost their lives due to shortage of oxygen, and ensure that the problem is immediately fixed.

He said that this is not the time for Chief Minister  to do study tours or photo-ops at oxygen plants, and should instead personally monitor the officials to ensure they are getting results and not indulging in further bureaucratic delay which could cost more lives.

Convener of Aam Aadmi Party, Rahul Mhambre said that the Chief Minister being a doctor himself, should volunteer at the GMC COVID ward for just one day in order to understand the plight of the doctors, revealed in the letter.

He said that it is unconscionable that that Chief Minister is bringing up the issue of funds when it comes to resolving the serious issues raised.

Mhambre demanded to know whether the Chief Minister can’t spare even a few crores out of  Rs 300 crores given by the Centre for Liberation Day festivities, to support our frontline warriors in this crisis while they are saving the lives of Goans.

On the issue of shortage of doctors, Dr Godinho suggested that the government immediately recruit MBBS graduates with one year of internship to relieve the current doctors who are being stretched beyond their
human limits.

He added that it was shameful that even basic demands for CCTV and security guards for their personal safety have not been met yet. On the contrary, the government is allowing their VIP friends to throw their weight around and make things even more difficult for the already
beleaguered doctors.

He said that Goa owes a debt of gratitude to GARD for raising the issues before a major calamity took place.

The AAP demanded that the Chief Minister and Health Minister immediately have a joint press conference specifically on the issues raised in the letter and inform the Goans on what action has been taken.