Srinagar, Dec 9: As an outcome of the rush of patients to the local maternity hospitals, the lady doctors in the valley are working harder enough than what is believed to be humanly possible. Indeed it is the duty of the doctors to be there for the patients every time she needs their services, but how many of us accept the fact that a doctor too is a human after all?
"At least once in a week, we have to work almost non-stop for roughly 36 hours, which we start in the morning on first day till the evening on next day," reveals a lady doctor, working as a house surgeon in a maternity hospital in the valley, adding, "it's the house surgeons and the PGs who have to work at the most among all."
After completing the internship in a hospital, these young lady doctors work as House Surgeons and then as the PGs.
No doubt doctors usually have a tight work schedule. However, when it comes to stay overnight, their work demands more of their presence and labour.
"This is what we call casualty night that is a must in every week. We commence our duty at ten in the morning and work continuously with lunch and dinner breaks in between for barely fifteen to twenty minutes each. Then we keep on working overnight (casualty night), with a little relaxation of one or two hours that too if there is somebody to look after in our absence. And then in the next morning, our work for another day resumes at ten till the evening," she explains.
During the casualty night, the doctors see to the emergency cases and in the time period of 36 hours, on average 40 caesarean sections (operations) are to be carried out and 30 to 40 normal deliveries are to be taken care of. Apart from the House Surgeons and PGs, the interns in the hospitals also include to the unit for night shifts.
"In addition to the casualty nights, there are some other night duties as well that are called ward nights, which are compulsory for once in a fortnight. Here we have to attend only to the patients of our own ward, who come to our duty rooms, hence ward nights are bit lighter than the casualty nights," she further said.
It is not just the matter of Kashmiri doctors. The work schedules can be found to be even tougher in the places outside the state. The only difference is that here you don't have proper facilities for the doctors.
"We don't have proper facilities available here. The rooms where we take rest for sometime during the night are not comfortable anyway, plus there is not much space either. Even wash rooms are not up to the mark," observes Dr Rubina Shah (name changed).
"We are not even granted leave easily. There are just fourteen leaves in a year per doctor that too one gets after so much of struggle," she added.
Like in any other profession the overtime outcomes into the stress for the person. And when it is the matter of one's health, even the doctors don't escape the hazards.
"Health wise the doctors suffer a lot. A lady doctor suffered miscarriage on duty, another delivered a pre-mature baby and so on," reveals Dr Shah, adding that "if somebody suffers in all this it's the doctors, not patients." Health and illness is something that is at least visible to all. However, there are many things that count to only your concerns.
"Apart from the health, it is the personal life that suffers the most. You cannot work in the kitchen after this tiresome job or give time to your family members. And if your family is not an understanding one, especially if you are married, you have to be ready for even the family disputes," feels Dr Shah.
"Families should understand the work constraints of a doctor. Some families do, some don't. It's the matter of one's luck that what kind of a family she is living in," she said. To help these young doctors out and at the same time serve the patients in a better way, most of the doctors think in terms of a common remedy, which is the number of the hospitals should be increased in the valley.
"If the number of the hospitals and likewise the number of the doctors will increase in the valley, the flow of the patients per hospital and hence the over-burden on the doctors will naturally decrease," feels one of the junior lady doctors.